What is a products liability claim?

What is a products liability claim?

Product Liability

Suffering an injury due to a defective product can be a frustrating and frightening experience. These types of injuries are never anticipated and often leave you full of questions. Who was at fault? Who can I turn to for help? Is there anything that can be done?

Fortunately, there are laws and regulations in place to protect the consumer. We created this informative guide to the three types of product liability claims consumers should be aware of to help them understand their case.

Each party in the distribution chain is liable for its actions based on state law. In most states, laws revolving around negligence, strict liability and breach of warranty apply. Therefore, manufacturers and suppliers must offer a product that meets a consumer’s ordinary expectations. If a product does not meet those expectations, it is defective and may be dangerous.

It is the company’s responsibility to provide instructions on the safe operation of its products and to warn of any potential hazards associated with their use. These warnings must be highly visible and are required by law. Examples of inadequate warnings would be an electric kettle that does not warn of the possibility of severe burns from an incorrectly positioned steam valve, or a paint remover containing toxic chemicals that does not adequately describe its handling and use.

Sale of defective products

Some examples of defective products that fall under the aforementioned scope are electronic devices, electrical appliances, medical devices and pharmaceuticals, as we have already discussed in previous articles.

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Victims can opt for the first two avenues, during which they do not need specific technical knowledge. However, if these avenues fail, they will have no choice but to go to court. This is more complex and often raises a number of doubts. For this reason, we will now develop the particularities and key issues of the judicial process.

You may be interested in: Amputations due to accidentsThe lawsuit must first be brought against the manufacturer (hereinafter, the producer), as stated in Article 1 of the Product Liability Directive, although Article 3 establishes that, without prejudice to the liability of the producer, the importer of the product shall be vicariously liable as if he were the producer.

Damaged product

Since neither the subjective scope of protection nor the objective scope contemplated by the Directive coincide with those of Law 26/1984, of July 19, 1984, General Law for the Defense of Consumers and Users, it has been decided to draft a special Law.

For the purposes of this Law, a product is understood to be any movable good, even if it is attached to or incorporated into another movable or immovable good, except for agricultural and livestock raw materials and hunting and fishing products which have not undergone initial transformation.

A defective product shall be understood to be that which does not offer the safety that could legitimately be expected, taking into account all the circumstances and, especially, its presentation, the reasonably foreseeable use thereof and the time of its putting into circulation.

2. For the same purposes, an importer is understood to be anyone who, in the exercise of his business activity, brings a product into the European Union for sale, lease, rental, leasing or any other form of distribution.

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Defective products in a company examples

Actualmente, este área del derecho se rige por las normas previstas en el Real Decreto Legislativo 1/2007, de 16 de noviembre, por el que se aprueba el texto refundido de la Ley General para la Defensa de los Consumidores y Usuarios y otras leyes complementarias.

En materia de productos defectuosos es de aplicación la Ley General para la Defensa de los Consumidores y Usuarios, aprobada por Real Decreto Legislativo 1/2007, de 16 de noviembre, que viene a complementar el régimen general contenido en los artículos 1902 y ss. y 1101 y ss. del Código Civil sobre responsabilidad extracontractual y contractual, respectivamente.

La Ley General de Consumidores y Usuarios protege a todo perjudicado frente a un producto defectuoso, centrando la responsabilidad en el fabricante real o productor y a las personas con responsabilidad equiparable.

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