When someone is injured by a defective product, they may be able to make a product liability claim. Product liability can be based on defective design, defective manufacturing, or a failure to warn about the hazards of using a product. Sometimes it can be difficult to determine who to hold liable for injuries caused by a defective product. Under the theory of strict liability, any party in the chain of commerce may be held liable in a product liability claim. This includes:
The chain of commerce usually begins with the manufacturer of a product. It may seem obvious that the manufacturer would be liable for a defective product because it is the entity that created and built the product. The manufacturer is primarily liable for the injuries caused by the product. However, it’s not always just the manufacturer of the actual product itself that can be liable. Manufacturers of any defective component parts of the product may also be held liable for injuries. Manufacturers can include anything from large multinational corporations down to someone who has put together a product in their garage.
Between the manufacturer and the retailer are a number of “middlemen.” This includes any wholesalers, suppliers, or distributors of the product. They can all be held liable for a defective product.
Even though they only sell a product, a retailer may be held liable for injury caused by a defective product on their store shelves. Retailers are responsible for selling products that are safe and will not cause harm to their consumers and can be held liable under the theory of strict liability. Under a negligence product liability claim, a retailer can be held liable if they sold a product that they knew or should have known, contained a defect. An example of this would be if a product were recalled due to a defect, but the retailer continued to sell it.
You do not have to be the direct purchaser of the product to hold a retailer liable for an injury. Even if the product was given to you as a gift or you bought the product used (assuming it wasn’t altered in any way by the previous owner), the retailer can still be responsible.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you’ve been injured by a defective product, you should contact an experienced attorney to evaluate your case. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.