Product liability refers to the responsibility of manufacturers and sellers to compensate buyers, users and sometimes bystanders for injuries and damages suffered as a result of purchasing or using a defective product. The concept of strict liability applies in Ohio product liability cases to make a manufacturer strictly liable to the user or consumer if the product was unreasonably dangerous despite being used in the way intended. When that is the case, the plaintiff’s contributory negligence will not rule out a monetary recovery by the plaintiff.
The plaintiff generally has three legal theories on which to base a product liability claim. They are strict liability, negligence and warranty. Strict liability is in some ways the most effective theory in such cases, but under our legal system a plaintiff is perfectly proper in proceeding on more than one theory of recovery.
Many different kinds of products are subject to liability for injuries caused to the user or consumer. They may include motor vehicles, air bags, all kinds of mechanical products, food products, lawn mowers, toys, furniture, electronics and medication. Actually, the list of products is endless because just about any kind of manufactured item can injure, maim or kill a person under certain circumstances.
Defects can be created by an engineering design flaw that overlooks some danger and ends up being unreasonably hazardous. Defects can also be created by some incorrect procedure during the manufacturing process. For example, a whole line of products may have been produced without a key part inserted or the part may have been put in the wrong spot due to incorrect instructions.
Under the law in Ohio and other jurisdictions, the defendant manufacturer or retailer may sometimes escape liability by placing a warning conspicuously on the face of the product. The variety and range of case law regarding product liability matters is vast, and it is necessary to consult with an experienced products lawyer as soon as possible after an injury occurs. An experienced practitioner will be best prepared by getting an early start in investigating the product, the companies involved and the injuries suffered.
Source: staugustine.com, “Product Liability: Design Defect vs Manufacturing Flaw”, Dec. 1, 2015