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The Hallmarks of a Product Liability Case

The Hallmarks of a Product Liability Case

In a product liability case, a plaintiff sues the manufacturer of a product to recover damages for injuries caused by a defect in that product. This can include items as diverse as baby strollers, medication, and hip implants, and a lawyer specializing in product liability and personal injury can help. Though these cases are all different, each one usually contains the following four elements:

• Defective product. The plaintiff must show that the product was defective in one of three ways: design, manufacture, and warning. In a design defect, the product’s flaw was inherent in its design, and no matter how well it was manufactured, it would always be defective. Defective manufacture, on the other hand, means that the product could have been safe if properly manufactured, but incorrect production rendered it dangerous. On the other hand, some products may be properly designed and manufactured, but they do not carry adequate warnings about correct use to avoid hazards, making them examples of a “failure to warn” product liability.

• Causation. To have a successful personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff must show that the product’s defects caused or contributed to his or her injury or illness. This is not always easy, because an illness or event can have multiple causes.

• Injury. For a product liability lawsuit to be successful, the plaintiff must have been injured by the product; it is generally not enough for a plaintiff to have simply used a product that could be dangerous. Instead, he must have experienced real harm from it.

• Duty to manufacture safe product. This element is generally assumed in product liability cases. Manufacturers almost always have a duty to manufacture the safest possible product. This assumption is at the base of most product liability cases: Manufacturers should design and make safe products, and a failure to do so merits a lawsuit.


If you have been injured by a product you purchased, contact The Rich Firm in Washington, D.C., at (202) 529-9379 to discuss your legal options regarding filing a product liability lawsuit. We help plaintiffs recover the financial damages they need to recover from injury or illness and return to their normal lives.