Product liability is the area of law that seeks to establish legal responsibility for damage caused by a defective product. In this area, a producer, seller, or another party in the product’s chain of distribution may be liable for physical harm, injuries, or economic loss caused by the product.
The areas covered in product safety are manufacturing and assembling products, Inspection, researching product safety, and data collection on incidents and defects.
A product defect is any malfunction, inadequacy, quality, or other problem with a manufactured product that harms or injures the consumer.
Three types of Liability
There are three types of product liability:
- Design liability – Concerns whether a product has been designed correctly and lacks safety features to prevent harm or is unsafe due to poor design. Such defective products may be attributable to the product’s designer, i.e., the manufacturer.
- Manufacturing liability – Concerns whether a product is manufactured incorrectly or with inferior quality, resulting in harm or injury to the consumer. Manufacturers may be liable if they either knew or should have known of the defect or that a dangerous condition existed but did not take appropriate action to warn consumers or correct their safety hazards.
- Marketing/failure to warn refers to how a product has been marketed, i.e., whether it has proper labeling, instructions, and other forms of warnings to consumers on foreseeable risks that may cause harm or injury. Suppose a manufacturer is aware of dangers associated with its product but does not provide adequate warnings or instructions on avoiding such dangers. In that case, the manufacturer may be held liable for injuries caused by failure or inadequate warnings.
The importance of product liability is undeniable, especially considering how many people are exposed daily to products that they may not fully understand. The issue of whose responsibility it is to safeguard consumers from hazardous products will continue to dominate product liability litigation in the future. Therefore, businesses must learn from the many cases currently in litigation to make a pre-emptive strike on future litigation by designing and manufacturing safer products hence decreasing Liability. Companies should also be careful and comply with the legislation regarding product liability. Finally, Liability is not the company’s responsibility, and the manufacturer must consider how to avoid accidents and harm to their customers.