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What are the main categories of product liability?

Anytime we buy a product, we trust that the product is safe and meets certain standards. Many companies work hard to put out high quality products, but sometimes creating defective products that harm innocent consumers. If you have been harmed by a defective product, you may be able to recover damages for your injuries from the parties involved in the manufacturing and sale of the product, including manufacturers, retailers, and distributors.

Under California product liability law, most cases involving a defective product fall under three categories. The first category requires that there be a defect in the design. Courts in California determine whether a party is liable for a defective product by using the risk/benefit test and consumer expectations test. Under the risk/benefit test, if there are inherent risks in the design of the product, and they outweigh the benefits of the design, the parties that designed it will likely be liable. Under the consumer expectation test, if a reasonable consumer would find that the product performs as safely as expected.

Other product liability cases involve a manufacturing defect that occurred during the manufacturing or assembly process. If the product has a defect that the manufacturer did not intend, you may have a claim of strict liability, meaning that the manufacturer could be held liable even if they were not negligent.

The final type of case typically involves a lack of adequate warning. There are dangers associated with certain products, even with the right design and proper manufacturing. If the manufacturer fails to warn consumers of these dangers, they may be liable for harm.

If you purchased a product that caused harm to you or a loved one, you may have a valid legal claim against the parties responsible for the creation of that product. A products liability attorney can review the facts of your case and help determine next steps.

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