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Product Liability/Dangerous Products

What is product liability? 


Product liability laws in California protect consumers for products that are either manufactured incorrectly or designed dangerously. In California, manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers can all be held liable if a product they allow onto the market injures someone. 


In what way can manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and distributors be held responsible?


A defendant is strictly liable for dangerous products they allow into the marketplace. Strict liability means that an injured person does not have to prove negligence to win a product liability case. Instead, liability is present if the injured person can demonstrate that the product was defective and that the dangerous product was the causer of the injury. Thus it does not matter necessarily if the defendant acted reasonably in allowing the product to the market, on the that the product was defective and caused injury. 


The purpose of these laws is to ensure manufacturers only allow safe products to reach the marketplace. Since manufacturers, and those in the stream of commerce, are better able to guard against the unsafe products they make or sell, it is their responsibility to ensure the safety of those products.


For what can a defendant be held liable for allowing a dangerous product into the marketplace?


Defendants are strictly liable if a product 1) has a design flaw that make it dangerous, and/or 2) if the manufacturing of the specific product that reaches the consumer is defective.


What is an injured person entitled to if they are injured by a dangerous or defective product?


  • Medical Bills – You are entitled to compensation for both your past and expected future medical care. Understanding your future medical needs is one of the most important aspects of ensuring that you are fully compensated for your injuries.

  • Loss of Earnings – You are entitled to compensation for time you have missed from work and for time you will miss from work in the future. Additionally, you are entitled to compensated for your loss of earning potential in the future if any of your injuries may inhibit you from advancing in your profession. 

  • Pain, Suffering and Emotional Distress – You are entitled to be compensated for the physical pain, suffering, humiliation, inconvenience, anxiety, disfigurement and emotional distress caused by the defective product.

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