Sometimes, a defective or an unsafe product without the proper warnings could lead a user or customer to sustain injuries. Product liability laws are important because they protect consumers and help companies understand their responsibilities. Because product law is different from ordinary injury laws, it can sometimes be easier for an injured person to receive damages if they've been hurt by one of these products.
Defining Product Liability
Product liability describes how a manufacturer or seller is held liable for defective products that make their way to consumers. Generally speaking, this responsibility could fall to any single link in the supply chain, from manufacturers to resellers.
Because there is no federal product liability law, these claims are often based on state laws. Sometimes, commercial statutes will also have a determination regarding product liability.
Depending on when the customer or user was damaged, liability could rest with anyone in the distribution process, including:
- The product's manufacturer
- A component part manufacturer
- Product assembly or installers
- The store where the product was purchased
For product liability to apply to a seller, the sale must occur in the regular course of the business. For this reason, someone selling the item at a yard or garage sale is probably not going to be held liable.