5 Common Defenses For Product Liability Cases

There are many common defenses for product liability cases. As required by product liability law, the average expectations of consumers should be met by products sold on the market. Essentially, items should function as expected, safely, and reliably to prevent legal action. A defective or dangerous product can lead the purchaser to file a lawsuit. Once a lawsuit begins, the defendant can be any distributor, manufacturer, or retailer involved in the supply chain management process. As a company that produces products, you should learn the different liability defenses to avoid incurring serious legal consequences. In this article, we’ll cover the common defenses for product liability cases.

Plaintiff Negligence

Plaintiff negligence is one common defense for product liability cases. Regardless of state law, your company should be prepared to handle negligent plaintiffs. To begin, your business must determine if the plaintiff, in any way, contributed to the product’s defect. This way, the amount of damages your company owes will be reduced or completely wiped out. To utilize the plaintiff negligence defense best, your company must prove that the customer used the product in a way that was not intended. Alternatively, your company can also prove that the plaintiff used the product unpredictably. Definitely, use the plaintiff negligence defense in product liability cases if the customer used your product incorrectly.

Insufficient Identification

Your company can also use insufficient identification as a defense in product liability cases. In a court case, you can present this defense if the plaintiff has not properly identified where in the supply chain the product defect occurred. The plaintiff must be able to name the company involved in manufacturing that incorrectly assembled, processed, or delivered the product. If your company sold or distributed the product, but was not involved in its production, you are exempt from liability. The only exception to this rule is defective medications in which each party involved in the creation of the drug will be held liable. Of course, this is all very important to know if your business gets sued. Certainly, use insufficient identification as a common defense in product liability cases.

Assumption Of Risk

Assumption of risk is another common defense for product liability cases. If a customer harms themselves using your product, your company isn’t responsible if the buyer knowingly used the dangerous item. The customer has assumed the risk of harm if they are aware of the defect and use the product anyway. For example, consider a plaintiff who sues a car company after the steering wheel locks causing a crash. If the plaintiff had experienced this issue before, your company would not be responsible. Essentially, your business must establish the buyer had prior knowledge of the product defect. By choosing to ignore warning signs, the customer is at fault. Surely, use assumption of risk as a common defense in product liability cases.

Statutes Of Limitation

Statutes of limitation are another common defense in product liability cases. With this defense, limits are placed on the amount of time a plaintiff has to seek remedy for a cause of action. Your company is exempt from liability if the buyer fails to file a lawsuit within the specified time frame. In most jurisdictions, product liability claims are limited to two years from the alleged injury or damage complained. Alternatively, statutes of limitation for contract claims are longer. From the date the item is sold, your company can be held responsible if the item is proven to be defective until the statute expires. Definitely, the statute of limitation defense can be used in product liability cases.

Define Breach Of Warranty

Define breach of warranty as one common defense for product liability cases. This defense differs from others because it is based entirely in contract. With breach of warranty, the plaintiff must prove that your product was defective. Moreover, your company must have been aware of the particular needs of the defendant. A defendant’s product needs would include the size, weight, speed, or durability of the item. With breach of warranty, your business must make a promise to fulfill these specific needs of the customer. Subsequently, the product would fail to meet those needs as specified by the plaintiff. Certainly, define breach of warranty to protect your company from product liability cases.

There are many common defenses for product liability risk cases. Your company should use the plaintiff negligence defense if the customer has used the product for an unintended purpose. Then, employ the insufficient identification defense if your company was not involved in the manufacture of a product. Businesses should implement the assumption of risk defense if a plaintiff has used a defective product knowingly. Moreover, the statute of limitation defense is useful if a lawsuit is filed after the statute has expired. Additionally, the breach of warranty defense applies to companies that were not made aware of specific user needs. These are the common defenses for product liability cases.

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