Product liability claims may be based on negligence, strict liability, or breach of the warranty of fitness. This will generally depend on the jurisdiction within. This will generally depend on the jurisdiction in which the claim is based, as there is no federal product liability law. This lack of uniformity has led to the United States Department of Commerce publishing the Uniform Model Product Liability Act (MUPLA), which seeks to promote uniform procedures for liability for defective products.
There are three elements common to all product liability lawsuits, regardless of the legal theory on which the claim is based. The lawsuit must involve a product, the product must be determined to be defective, and the product defect must be determined to be the immediate cause of the injury. As such, a plaintiff can allege several different theories in their lawsuit to take advantage of the differences in the evidence required for each lawsuit. Another distinctive feature of product liability cases has to do with the underlying legal theory.
In many cases, the plaintiff does not need to prove negligence, as they would in an ordinary personal injury case. Instead, they could use a theory of objective responsibility. This means that liability arises if the product had a defect and the defect caused the plaintiff's injuries and damages. In other words, it doesn't matter if the defendant's carelessness or misconduct caused the defect.
Therefore, strict liability is often easier to prove than negligence. However, some states still require the plaintiff to prove negligence. Negligence means that the manufacturer or another person within the manufacturing chain failed to act with reasonable care to ensure the safety of the design and manufacture of the product. What constitutes “reasonable care” depends on the nature and risk of the damage that the product may cause.
The higher the risk of bodily injury, the stricter the requirements in the manufacturing process. The consumer must demonstrate the manufacturer's breach of duty and the cause of certain damages. This report provides an introduction to the basic concepts of product liability law, including the historical evolution of the law; the common elements of defective product liability claims; the legal theories on which these claims are based; the types of product defects; the people involved in product liability lawsuits; available damages; and liability defenses. The defendant can also present additional facts and arguments that, if true, could nullify or mitigate the plaintiff's claim, even if everything in the plaintiff's lawsuit were true; for example, demonstrating that the person caused their own injury by using the product in a blatantly unreasonable or unexpected way.
The product liability law is more favourable than German consumer law, in particular with regard to the determination of recoverable damages. Under this doctrine, an injured person could only bring legal action against a manufacturer or seller of a product for their injuries if they maintained a direct contractual relationship with the manufacturer or seller. For more information on product liability in general, see this Harvard Law Review note, this Harvard Law Review note, and this Notre Dame Law Review note. It is universally recognized that a manufacturer is not an insurer against all the risks of injury associated with a product and will not be responsible for injuries caused by a product that works properly.
This is important because there are different rules of procedure and substantive law that apply to each field of law. Product liability law is a type of private law that deals with the definition, regulation and enforcement of rights between individuals, associations and corporations. They can directly refute the facts and arguments presented by the person who initiated the lawsuit; for example, by demonstrating that they did not manufacture or sell the allegedly defective product, that the product was not defective, or that the product defect was not the immediate cause of the plaintiff's injuries. The purpose of this law was to provide a model that state legislatures could use to pass their own state product liability laws.