Product Liability Personal Injury Questions

What is product liability?

Product liability is the section of law that provides for compensation for physical injuries and/or property damage resulting from a defective product and from the failure of the manufacturer to warn the consumer of its risks.

What constitutes a defective product?

The plaintiff in a products liability case usually must prove that the product was defective. A defect is an imperfection that renders a product unsafe for its intended or reasonably foreseeable uses. There are three kinds of defects: design defects, manufacturing defects, and warning defects.

Design defects exist when an entire scope of products is inadequately planned, such that it poses unreasonable risks to consumers. When the design is defective, even products manufactured perfectly remain defective. A manufacturing defect, on the other hand, arises when a sound design is not properly followed and the product is constructed improperly.

Occasionally, something other than the product itself is defective. Improper labeling, instructions, or warnings on a product can also constitute the product as being defective. Proper labeling also applies to claims made regarding product displays and advertising. If these requirements are not met and a consumer is injured, a liability suit can arise.

What is proximate cause?

In order to receive compensation, the plaintiff in a products liability case must prove that the product was defective when it left the defendant and that the defect proximately caused the plaintiff's injury. A defect can be said to be of proximate cause if the injury was a direct, natural or probable result of the defect's existence. However, the issue of causation is often very complex and depends on the facts of each particular case. Choosing an experienced New Hampshire products liability attorney is crucial.

What if I was injured using the product in a way that was not intended by the manufacturer?

This concept is known as "foreseeable misuse." Manufacturers are required to anticipate the real world use of their products and can be held responsible for failing to do so. Foreseeable misuses also includes foreseeable product modifications made by the consumer.

For more information, visit our NH practice area-specific page for accidents and injuries involving potentially defective products and products liability cases.