Strict liability in product liability cases

Consumer products that are placed on store shelves for sale should work as advertised. Sadly, products don't always work how they are supposed to. In some cases, they do cause death and severe injuries.

When this happens, Pennsylvania residents can be left with serious financial harm. Medical bills can pile up. Additionally, people can be left unable to work or financially support themselves.

In these cases, a products liability suit may be appropriate and theories of strict liability may apply. Under strict liability laws, manufacturers of defective consumer products may be held responsible for the damages caused to the victims. This allows people to seek damages without having to prove cause -- which can be difficult or impossible in cases involving a product.

However in order for a company to be held strictly liable for a person's injuries certain elements must be met. First, a person had to have been injured by a product that had an "unreasonably dangerous" defect. This could be a manufacturing defect, design defect or some other issue that made the product dangerous. Second, the injury had to have occurred while the product was being used as it was intended. Strict liability will not apply if people are using the product in a way that it wasn't intended to be used. Finally, the product must have been "substantially" the same as when the product was sold to the consumer. This means that the consumer cannot have significantly modified the product.

Consumers who have been injured by defective product -- including a manufacturing defect -- may want to seek legal help to understand their options. In some cases, compensation may be available under strict liability. Since this post is not meant to advise readers on whether they have a legal claim, those who want to learn more about strict liability in products liability cases may want to bring the matter up to an attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "Proving Fault in a Product Liability Case," Accessed June 20, 2015

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