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Product Liability | Contractors Liability

What is Product Liability

Product liability simply means an area of law that is concerned with the injury derived from the use of a product. If you use a product and it turns out to be detrimental to your health, you have every right to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the product.

Infographic of The responsible party in a product liability case would be the defendants in the lawsuit filed by the injured party

The responsible party in the event of a product liability would be the defendants in the lawsuit presented to the court by the injured party. When talking about the responsible party, it could be the manufacturer or the wholesaler, distributor and retailer.

When a consumer is filing a product liability lawsuit, manufacturers and distributors are the potential parties that would be held responsible for the defective product that led to the injury. You can protect yourself with product liability insurance.

Examples of Product Liability

A good example of product liability is a case with Toyota cars when they had defective accelerators and brake pedals. It was all over the news that Toyota cars had defects and that was the reason why the specific cars with the defect were separated so that no other person would buy them and get injured. The same thing goes for products that are widely distributed and are discovered to be defective in any way. Majority of these products would be recalled and put in order. According to the Consumer Protection Safety Commission, a large amount of products are recalled every year so as to ensure that consumers are buying products that are free of defects.

Producer, Designer or Manufacturer and Product Liability

Sometimes, the defect of a product might not be the fault of the producer. It might be that when the products were being marketed, it was damaged in a way and it became defective. A product’s defect may also be as a result of the design effect and this occurs even before the products were manufactured in the company.

Infographic of A product’s defect may also be as a result of the design effect

The only time when manufacturing defects take place is when the products are being produced and in most cases it is not all the products that will be defective. But a design defect will affect every product because it is probably from the raw material used in producing the goods.

Marketing Defects and Product Liability

Marketing defects are also part of product liability and can be as a result of the company’s failure to give the consumers the right instructions as to how to use the product.

Infographic of Marketing defects are also part of product liability

It could be that a product is to be used in a certain way and the consumers did not get the right information about the product, when the product becomes defective to them, the marketers would be held responsible for this product liability. This type of product liability has been by far the most difficult type of case to prove.

Companies and Product Liability

Most cases under product liability are considered strict liability because if the product is indeed found defective, the company that produced the good would be held fully liable for the injuries caused by the product usage. That is why it is advisable for manufacturers to prevent these defects because even if suppliers and store owners are held responsible for a product defect, it would still be traced to the manufacturer.

Suppliers, wholesalers and retailers should also be careful when they choose the products they want to sell. They should properly scrutinize the product to be sure that it is free from defects.

Infographic of suppliers wholesalers retailers should also be careful when they choose the products they want to sell

Now referring to the consumers; if you have ever been faced with a product liability case and you had no idea of how to go about it, well the best thing to do in this case is to look for a good lawyer to handle your lawsuit. Although cases of product liability are usually complicated; but with the help of an experienced attorney, you will be sure to win the case.

Reasons for Cases About Product Liability

The bases used in determining a good case against the manufacturer/supplier of defective products are: Negligence, Breach of Warranty and Misrepresentation.


This is when the manufacturer fails to produce goods that are free of defects. It might be as a result of the raw materials used in production or during the actual production.

Breach of Warranty

This is when the company fails to stick to their end of the promises they made when they wanted to sell their product. If you get injured in this process, you have every right to file a product liability lawsuit against the company.


This one has to do with the marketing department. If the products are advertised or marketed in such a way that the consumers were not notified of the dangers involved when using the product, they can be charged with product liability lawsuit.


Manufacturers of products should endeavour to inspect and test their products throughout the process of production. It is also advisable to use safe materials when they are making products so as to prevent defects as a result of raw materials. When they finish production, they are also advised to warn consumers of a product if it poses any danger when using them. This way, manufacturers would be able to avoid injuries from their consumers and consequently prevent lawsuits.

Infographic of Products should be extremely safe to use them

You should know as a consumer that if you fail to use a product as directed by the manufacturer and you get injured in the process, the manufacturer would not be held responsible for the injury. That is why products designed for children should be extremely safe because children might misuse the product.

Causation and Product Liability

It is not proper to talk about product liability cases without bringing up the term called “causation”. This simply means proving that the injuries caused to you were as a result of the defect of the product used. Before a consumer can get any form of settlement from the manufacturer in cases of product liability, he or she has to prove that the injuries were caused by the use of the manufacturer’s product. In this case, if there were other cause of your injury apart from the use of the product, the degree of the product’s defect would be determined before the manufacturer will pay any amount as compensation. This is when the need of an attorney arises because he will be the one to prove that the product was defective when you bought it.

Infographic of Causation means proving that the injuries caused to you were as a result of the defect of the product used

Another term that comes up when talking about product liability is “class actions” and this is often when the case involves lots of people that were injured. Now you know what product liability is, it is up to you to know how to go about it when faced with such a case. To protect yourself in the case of product liability, be sure to get a quote on product liability insurance.

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Written by: John Brown
John has more than 25 years of experience in the insurance industry. He grew from a star insurance producer to owning one of the largest agencies in the country; he's a reference regarding contractor's insurance, commercial insurance, and builders' risk insurance.