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Are Product Liability Claims Worth the Effort?

If you have been injured by the malfunction of a product, or suffered loss because of the poor or negligent design of goods or merchandise, you may be considering whether it will behoove you to seek damages through a product liability claim. Here are some important things to know.

What You Need to Show to Prove a Product Liability Claim

In most jurisdictions, you must demonstrate the following to succeed in an action for damages caused by a dangerous or defective product:

• The product that caused your injury was negligently designed, marketed or manufactured
• The design, marketing or manufacturing defect caused your injury
• You suffered actual loss or injury (either physical injury or property loss)
• You were using the product in a reasonable way or as it was intended to be used

Though product liability claims can be based on negligence or breach of warranty, a product liability claim is customarily considered a strict liability claim. This means that an injured party does not need to show precisely how the manufacturer, marketer or designer was negligent, but only that the product was defective and that it caused injury. In fact, a manufacturer may exercise reasonable care in the preparation and sale of a product, but still be responsible for damages.

The manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer of a product has a duty to warn potential users of all known risks involved with the use of the product, as well as any dangers that should be known. There is also a duty to provide proper instructions for the use of a product.

Though the strict liability standard does make it easier for a plaintiff to seek damages in a product liability claim, there can still be challenges to showing that a product was defectively designed, manufactured or marketed, particularly when a product involves complex parts or operations.

Who You Can Sue for Damages

Another advantage to potential plaintiffs in a product liability claim is the opportunity to pursue compensation from anyone within the chain of distribution of a product. This means that you can seek damages from not only the designer or manufacturer, but wholesalers and retailers as well. You may also be able to sue companies or individuals who provided parts, labor or consulting to a product manufacturer.

Contact the Law Office of Metzger & Kleiner

At Metzger & Kleiner, we provide a free initial consultation. To schedule an appointment, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 215-622-2210 in Philadelphia, 610-563-2186 in the Lehigh Valley, or toll free at 800-228-1760.

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