Product Liability Claims

There are two main ways in which you can bring product liability claims: the first is through a contractual claim against the supplier/seller, and the second is through a negligence claim against the manufacturer.

A contractual product liability claim can be brought by showing that the product that you have bought from the supplier/seller does not fit its description (ie the supplier/seller has misrepresented the product).

On the other hand, a negligence product liability claim can be brought by showing that the product is defective. In general, there are three types of negligence product liability claims:

  1. Defective manufacture: The product was made defective due to an error in its manufacturing process; the design of the product itself is good
  2. Defective in its design: The design of the product is inherently flawed or dangerous
  3. Failure to provide adequate warning or instructions concerning the proper usage of the product: the product requires the user to be more cautious in using it, but was not obvious to the user

Knowing which category your product liability claim falls under would help you to better identify the type of evidence which you need to provide to support your claim. As a general rule, to support your negligence product liability claim, you would need to show that

    • You were injured or have suffered losses
    • The product was defective
    • It was the defect in the product that caused your injury or loss
    • You were using the product in a way which could be expected by the manufacturer

A well-known example of a product liability claim is that of an elderly lady in the U.S. suing MacDonald’s after she suffered third-degree burns from spilling MacDonald’s coffee on herself. She was successful in her claim because she showed that the coffee was served at a temperature that was too hot and was more likely to cause serious injury than other shops.

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