How does product liability protect Ohio consumers?

Most people have heard the words product liability, but some may not understand everything those two simple words can encompass. Thousands of people are injured across the United States every year -- including residents of Ohio -- by dangerous or defective products. Gaining an understanding of what product liability is can help consumers know what rights and protections are guaranteed to them.

Product liability is the responsibility that a manufacturer or seller has to consumers, regarding the safety of the products made available for mass consumption. Product liability laws require that products which are accessible to the public are to meet what are known as ordinary expectations of the consumer. Merchandise that is found to be defective or dangerous does not meet these expectations.

If a defective product does make it to market, several parties may be held responsible should injuries result. These parties include the manufacturer, wholesalers and retail stores. Responsibility can be determined in a few ways; one way is by determining if negligence contributed to the defect, and another is simply establishing that a product was indeed defective.

Ohio consumers should be able to expect that products introduced into the market for consumption are safe or have appropriate warning labels when needed. If an individual suffers injury from the use of a widely available product, they may be entitled to seek compensation for that injury. Product liability claims can be filed against the party or parties believed to be responsible and, if negligence or a defect is found, a monetary judgment may be awarded.

Source: FindLaw, "What is Product Liability?", , Sept. 1, 2014

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