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What is Product Liability?

ProdLiab2

Product liability refers to the rules surrounding who is liable for damages because of dangerous or defective products. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective or dangerous product, you may have a legal claim for damages against a number of parties – including a distributor, seller, design and manufacturer, and importer.

There are three different types of product liability claims: (1) design defects; (2) manufacturing defects; and (3) warning and/or labeling defects.

Design Defects 

A design defect refers to a defect in a product that has been present from the beginning. This means that before the product was even manufactured, there was an issue with the design that makes the product inherently unsafe or dangerous. In Florida, “a product is defective because of a design defect if it is in a condition unreasonably dangerous to the user and the product is expected to and does reach the user without substantial change affecting that condition.” Further, a product is unreasonably dangerous because of the design “if the product fails to perform as safely as an ordinary consumer would expect when used as intended or when used in a manner reasonably foreseeable by the manufacturer and the risk of danger in design outweighs the benefit.”

An example of a design defect is a car that is top-heavy. In this case, the increased weight at the top of a car makes it more likely that the car will roll or tip over. 

Manufacturing Defects 

A product is unreasonably dangerous because of a manufacturing defect if the result is different from its intended design and it fails to perform safely as the design intended. Manufacturing defects are the most common types of product liability claims and cases. Here, the original design is safe, but there is an unexpected occurrence during the manufacturing of the product that makes the design unreasonably dangerous.

Marketing Defect 

A marketing defect arises when the product has an inherent danger, but the manufacturer fails to warn of this danger.  If a product is dangerous, the manufacturer is legally obligated to warn of the danger. A marketing defect, also called a warning and/or labeling defect, can include flaws in the way a product is marketed, like improper labeling, insufficient instructions, or inadequate safety warnings.

One of the more common marketing defect claims involves prescription medications. Prescription medications must acknowledge the adverse side effects of the medication. If those are not properly disclosed by the pharmaceutical company, this could result in a marketing defect products liability case. 

An Attorney Can Help You File a Claim for Compensation 

If you or a loved one has been injured by a products design, manufacture, or marketing, Gillette Law in Jacksonville is here to help. We provide skilled legal counsel to help get you the damages you are entitled to. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Resource:

floridasupremecourt.org/civ_jury_instructions/instructions.shtml#403

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