What is Product Liability Law?
Imagine you buy a hairdryer in the hopes it will help you tame your otherwise unpredictable hair. Then, it catches on fire in your bathroom. If you were injured by the dangerous or defective product, who would be held responsible? A consumer can initiate a lawsuit against any party involved in the chain of manufacturing a given product. This includes the manufacturer of any components, the manufacturer responsible for assembly, and even the retailer.
In the United States, we all rely on a number of consumer products throughout each day. This area of law, known as product liability or defective products, can get a bit complicated. Below is a brief synopsis of what you need to know about product liability law in Florida.
Is the Manufacturer Liable?
When a consumer brings about a product liability claim, the court must examine whether or not the manufacturer acted negligently. This means the court must examine the product itself as well as the state of mind of each party in the supply chain.
To hold a manufacturer defendant liable, the plaintiff must prove the product was defective to the point of being unreasonably dangerous. This will come down to design, manufacturing, or marketing defects.
Product Design Defects
You may file a claim stating the product was defective in design. This means the product was manufactured according to plan. However, the design of the product is inherently dangerous. In Florida, the court will use a test called the consumer-expectation test. The product is considered dangerous if it fails to perform the way the consumer expects it to. This would be if the product is used as intended.
The claim here is that the product was not manufactured properly. The design itself may be safe. The plaintiff must prove the manufacturer did not manufacture the product according to design. The manufacturer is held liable if the product causes injury when used as intended.
These claims focus on the failure of the manufacturer or other parties in the supply chain to relay important information. For example, the manufacturer or distributor may fail to supply the consumer with adequate safety warnings. In this case, the product is otherwise designed and manufactured adequately. The plaintiff aims to prove that injury could have been avoided with reasonable instructions or warnings. The failure to include this information leads to an unreasonably dangerous product.
Statute of Limitations
In Florida, you have four years from the time of injury to file a claim. The time starts when you discovered or should have discovered the facts regarding defects.
Contact a Florida Product Liability Lawyer
If you received a defective product and were the victim of an injury, you may be entitled to compensation. You should not have the bear the responsibility of paying for your medical bills, lost wages, and more because of another person’s or entity’s negligence. Contact a Florida product liability lawyer to help you file your claim. The lawyers at Spencer Morgan Law can help you recover the damages to which you are entitled. Contact us today if you were injured by a dangerous product.