Understanding Strict Liability in Defective Product Lawsuits

Feb 28, 2016 — by Gary Zucker
Tags: Product Liability

A judge looking over court documentsThe lawyers of Gary A. Zucker & Associates, P.C. are committed to injury and accident victims throughout the greater Brooklyn area. We offer expert legal counsel, which is especially helpful during product liability lawsuits over defective or dangerous goods.

Let's consider these lawsuits in more detail, with a focus on strict liability and how this applies to these cases.

The Basics of Product Liability Lawsuits

A product liability lawsuit is filed when a defective or dangerous product causes injury to a consumer. This covers a broad range of products and types of injuries, from motor vehicles to consumer electronics and toys.

In essence, these kinds of cases help keep companies honest and responsible for the good that they produce. These kinds of cases also help promote better safety standards that are industry wide.

Defining Strict Liability

Strict liability essentially means that if a product injured a consumer, the seller, distributor, or manufacturer of the product is legally liable for the injury. This holds regardless if the product seller, distributor, or manufacturer attempted to prevent the defect that caused the product to fail. This does away with considerations of negligence given how difficult it can be to prove negligence and standards in a number of cases.

Keep in mind that while this sounds simple on the surface, there are some exceptions to this law that can make cases of strict liability more difficult than they seem.

Proving Strict Liability

In order to prove strict liability, the following must be taken into account:

  • The product in questions was sold to the consumer in a condition that was unreasonably dangerous
  • The seller of said product expected that the product would reach the consumer in its unchanged state
  • The product resulted in injury to the consumer or damage to his/her property

Keep in mind that strict liability DOES NOT apply during instances in which the following occurred:

  • The consumer used the product in a manner that would lead to injury
  • The consumer used the product knowing that it was damaged or defective
  • The consumer used the product in a manner it was never intended to be used
  • An additional circumstance was involved in the case that is the actual cause of the product failure and injury

Damages in Product Liability Lawsuits

In product liability lawsuits, both compensatory damages and punitive damages are sought.

Compensatory damages are intended to cover material losses that occurred. This may include medical bills, damage to property, lost wages, and emotional pain and suffering. The amount is determined by tabulating the various expenses.

Punitive damages are intended to punish the responsible party for their actions, in this case for making or selling a dangerous item. The amount is generally determined by the nature of the case and its circumstances, with similar settlements and decisions of the past considered as well.

How Our Lawyers Can Help You

During a product liability lawsuit, your attorney will handle the difficult litigation matters, providing you with expert legal advice every step of the way. Our attorneys will give you the advice necessary to arrive at a successful resolution of your case. This will provide peace of mind so you can focus on recovery and healing.

Contact Gary A. Zucker & Associates, P.C.

For more information about your legal options after a defective product causes you harm, be sure to contact our personal injury attorneys today. The lawyers of Gary A. Zucker & Associates, P.C. will fight diligently for you and your legal rights.

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