Thousands of Floridians are injured every year due to their use of dangerous or faulty products. Product liability means that a manufacturer or retailer has legal responsibility to ensure that the products they make or sell are not defective or unsafe. When a dangerous product reaches the consumer, all sellers within the distribution chain hold liability. A basic precept of the notion of product liability, called the consumer-expectation test, is simply that any product must meet reasonable expectations of the purchaser. Products that are faulty or dangerous are not meeting those ordinary expectations.
This concept is fundamentally about protecting consumers from businesses, whether they be manufacturers or retailers, that are negligent in their operations in a manner that creates a danger to buyers. It essentially mandates that an organization cannot profit by simply releasing something on the market without proper consideration of its potential impact on the public during or following the sale.
What Does “Product Liability” Mean?
Product liability, also sometimes called products liability, is the legal responsibility of all entities throughout the manufacturing and distribution chain that the product not be dangerous or otherwise defective, resulting in damages.
What is Product Liability Law?
Product liability law is the set of legal guidelines that determine responsibility when a product does not work correctly or is unsafe. It encompasses protections for consumers and others so that businesses cannot be profit-motivated to an extent that it is effectively harmful toward the end-user. A skilled and client-centered product liability attorney works on defective product claims when products lead to property damage, injury, or death. This branch of law differs from injury law; it is often easier for someone who is injured to get an award.
There is no federal law related to product liability, so Florida rules govern these claims. One element of Florida law that is often used for these cases is the pure comparative negligence rule, which give citizens of the state the option to sue a manufacturer or retailer even if they are partially at fault for the damages. Another is the economic loss doctrine, which directs that product liability cases cannot be filed only to recover economic damages (e.g., lost profits).
How can you win these cases? Two key legal theories used to determine fault are product liability and negligence. The former centers on the product itself, and negligence is related to careless actions by the distributor, manufacturer, or seller. The primary arguments that can be made in a product liability lawsuit are that there are defects in design, manufacturing, or marketing. A couple of key areas within the Florida Statutes that provide parameters for these types of cases are contained in the Negligence Torts: the Comparative Fault (Title XLV, Section 768.81) and the State-of-the-Art Defense for Products Liability (Title XLV, Section 768.1257) sections.