Product Liability Law, Upholding and Protecting the Rights of America’s Buying Public

Manufacturers have the following legal duties:

  • Make sure that their products are safe and will not cause harm;
  • Include on their products’ labels all vital instructions or warnings that consumers need to know; and,
  • Indicate clearly and accurately on product labels all of the product’s ingredients.

False claims regarding what a product can do is a deception, an act that can result to a lawsuit, especially if, besides not giving the results it claims to give, it ends up causing harm to users.

Product liability is that area of the law that holds manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, and all those who are part of the distribution chain liable for the harm caused by defective and injurious products.

Through the product liability law, the rights of America’s buying public are upheld and protected; it is also aimed at ending the thousands of injuries that dangerous and defective products cause American consumers every year. This task, of making sure that consumers get exactly what they pay for and not end up taking home a defective or dangerous product, is assigned to the U.S. Bureau of Consumer Protection of the Federal Trade Commission.

A product defect includes failure to fulfill claims or promises made about a particular product or service. One example is a universal remote control that is claimed to be able to control all electronic equipment in your home, but ends up controlling only your TV.

Thousands of tort suits or product liability claims due to injuries caused by defective products are filed against product manufacturers every year. Unfortunately, despite all the laws that require compliance with federal quality standards, so many defective or poorly made products still escape the watchful eyes of authorities, get displayed in stores and sold to millions of unsuspecting American consumers who trust that what they purchase are safe and without defects. This is not the case, however, as can be proven by the injuries and deaths that have already been reported, traced, proven and documented by the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). Some of these reported cases include:

  • Close to 30,000 electric blankets which, when folded or bunched, have the tendency to overheat and burn the user;
  • Dell’s 200,000 laptop batteries, which showed risks of overheating and causing fire;
  • 220,500 harmful children’s toys; and,
  • The Ortho Evra® birth control patch that can cause death after causing the development of blood clots in the user;

According to Ontario personal injury lawyers of Mazin & Associates, PC, “Defective products are generally borne out of negligence or a careless party failing to exercise the reasonable standard of care when handling the product. In serious cases, faulty products may cause serious injury or disability to anyone who uses them.

There are a variety of factors to take into consideration when addressing product liability. The existence of a faulty product is not enough to warrant litigation. It must also be proven that a particular product defect caused your injuries. Product defect can be attributed to a range of areas, including:

  • Defective household products
  • Toxic food products and containers
  • Dangerous childcare products and toys
  • Dangerous drugs
  • Defective vehicles
  • Manufacturing defects
  • Design defects

To make a claim against a defective product, you additionally must prove that you were not mishandling or misusing the product in a way that would cause injury or negative side effects. Thus, if it can be proven that a defective product has caused injury to you or a member of your family, the decision is yours to hold the responsible parties accountable.