Product Liability

Product Liability

Manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and vendors have a legal responsibility to use reasonable care when designing and producing consumer products. When these entities fail to fulfill this responsibility, they can and should be held liable for the harm or personal injury that their products cause as a result. Unfortunately, filing this type of claim can be a difficult process, so if you were injured by a defective consumer product, it is important to speak with an experienced product liability attorney who is familiar with both state and federal law and can help you seek compensation for your losses.

Liable Parties

Product liability claims tend to be complicated because there are actually many different individuals and entities that can be held responsible for consumer product-related injuries, including:

  • Manufacturers;
  • Assemblers;
  • Suppliers;
  • Distributors;
  • Wholesalers;
  • Retailers; and
  • Commercial lessors.

Whether only one entity is responsible for an accident, or an injury can be laid at the feet of multiple parties, Illinois plaintiffs have one of two main legal theories under which they can hold the at-fault parties liable – negligence and strict liability.

Theories of Liability

The first method that plaintiffs can utilize in product liability cases is based on the legal theory of negligence, which requires the parties to prove a few different elements before they can recover damages, including that:

  • The defendant owed a duty of care to the injured party;
  • The defendant breached that duty; and
  • The defendant’s breach resulted in a foreseeable injury to the plaintiff.

Proving these elements can be difficult, requiring the collection of convincing evidence, such as medical records, eyewitness testimony, purchase receipts, and expert testimony.

The second legal theory under which an injured party can hold a seller or manufacturer liable for an injury is known as strict liability. Strict liability claims require proof that:

  • The injury suffered by the consumer was the result of a defect or condition of a product sold by the defendant;
  • The product’s defect or condition was unreasonably dangerous; and
  • The error or condition existed when the product left the manufacturer’s control.

Under both theories, plaintiffs are required to prove that the product that caused their injury had one of three kinds of defects:

  • Design defects, which are flaws that are inherent to the design of a product itself and require proof that there was a reasonable alternative design that would have been safer;
  • Manufacturing defects, which are mistakes in the assembly or manufacturing of a product that represent deviations from the intended design; and
  • Defects related to marketing or warning labels, which occur when a seller fails to warn a consumer about the dangers that could come with using a specific product.

Plaintiffs who are able to fulfill this burden could be eligible to recover damages compensating them for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.

Contact Our Office Today for Legal Assistance

To speak with one of the experienced product liability attorneys at Saks, Robinson & Rittenberg, Ltd. about your case, please call 312-332-5400 or send us an online message today.

If you have been injured in a personal injury or work-related accident, do not hesitate to contact our office at (312) 332-5400

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