While some people are injured by incorrectly using a product, some products are dangerous even when used correctly.
Product liability litigation works not only to compensate victims of defective products, but also to hold manufacturers and/or sellers accountable for the injuries their products cause.
There are three basic theories of product liability claims:
- Strict Liability
- Breach of Warranty
A negligence claim requires proof that: (1) the seller/defendant had a duty to sell a safe product, (2) the seller/defendant breached that duty (i.e., that they knew or should’ve known the product was defective), and (3) it was the defect in the product which caused injury.
A strict liability claim arises if one can prove that the design or a manufacturing defect rendered the product “unreasonably dangerous.” In a strict liability case, one need not prove the seller and/or manufacturer had, or should have had, knowledge of the defect; however, one must still prove injury resulted from the use of the defective product.
Finally, a breach of warranty claim can be brought if the seller and/or manufacturer breached a written or implied promise that the product was free from defect. Again, one must prove the defect caused the injury.
If you or a family member has been injured as a result of a defective product, your first priority should be to obtain proper medical care. Your next step should be to preserve the product and any literature which came with it. Finally, contact an experienced product liability attorney to ensure that your rights are protected. You may have a claim against the manufacturer and/or the seller of the product.
Depending on the facts of the case, there is generally a four year statute of limitations for product liability claims in Minnesota. It is critical to take action as soon as possible so as to preserve evidence, contact witnesses, and ensure that your rights are protected.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission is an independent agency of the U.S. government which regulates the sale and manufacture of approximately 15,000 types of consumer products.