Products Liability

Products liability refers to the liability of any or all parties along the chain of manufacture and supply of any product for damage caused by that product. This includes the manufacturer of component parts, an assembler, the wholesaler, and the retail seller. Products containing inherent defects that cause harm to a consumer of the product, or someone to whom the product was given, are the subjects of products liability suits. Consumer products must also meet the tort that they are reasonably fit for the purpose for which they are sold.

Successful claims may only be made if it can be proven that the product is defective. There are three types of product defects that incur liability in manufacturers and suppliers: design defects, manufacturing defects, and defects in marketing. Design defects are inherent; they exist before the product is manufactured. The item can be unreasonably dangerous to use due to a design flaw. Manufacturing defects occur during the construction or production of the item. Defects in marketing deal with improper instructions and failure to warn consumers of latent dangers in the product.

Defective Design

Defective design is difficult to establish. It normally requires expert evidence to show not only that the product could have been designed more safely, but that the risk of personal injury by the defective design was reasonably foreseeable and could have been avoided when the product was manufactured.

Defective Manufacture

Manufacturing defects may be limited in number and are usually not as amendable to class action lawsuits as are the other grounds upon which product liability claims are based. In some cases the defect is evident, while in others it is necessary to obtain expert evidence.

Duty to Warn

It is easier for a plaintiff to allege a failure in the duty to warn of design error or other risk of harm. The nature of the warning that must be given will vary with the nature of the product and it associated potential risks. The nature of the warning required is stricter for consumer products and, as would be expected, the explicitness of the warning increases with the potential danger.

Ongoing Duty to Research and Duty to Warn of Subsequently Discovered Design Defects

A manufacturer has an ongoing duty to research its product, and to warn consumers of subsequently discovered design defects.


We are currently accepting for review products liability cases that have resulted in either serious permanent disability impairment or injury or death, or which because of the number of products are suitable for class action litigation.

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