Defective Products (Product Liability)
When a defective product causes personal injury, any lawsuit filed for damages falls under product liability laws. These laws are governed by state legal systems and allow the injured party to potentially hold all parties responsible for the product liable for the injuries incurred.
Defendants that can be named in a product liability lawsuit include any individuals, organizations, or business involved with the product from the design and development phase all the way through to the retailer who sold the defective product.
Though a number of different defendants can be named in a product liability lawsuit, in order to prove the case and receive damages, plaintiffs must establish at least one of the following:
- A defect in the design of the product.
- A defect in the production or manufacturing of the product.
- A defect in the product-use instructions or accompanying marketing information. This is type of defect is known as “failure to warn”.
As product liability claims require the establishment of one of these defect categories, more often than not, the category of the defect determines which parties are named in the personal injury claim.
In other words, in product liability claims in which the defect is in the design of the product, the designers and developers of the product are typically named as defendants. Proving that a manufacturer, supplier, retailer, or marketer knew of the defect can often be more challenging. For this reason, defendants in product liability claims are typically named according to what type of defect caused the injuries.