What is necessary to win a product liability lawsuit? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Product liability cases are usually based on “strict liability” rather than negligence. “Strict liability” means it is not necessary to prove “fault” on the part of the defendant, but your attorney must be able to prove the product was unreasonably dangerous or defective, you were injured from use of the defective product, and the injury was caused by the defect in the product.

The law understands certain products are dangerous, and consumers should know that the product is dangerous when they use it (e.g. guns, knives, etc.). Though, if a consumer uses a product without an inherent risk (e.g. coffee machine, nasal spray, etc.) and is injured, then you potentially have a case.

All jurisdictions require a connection between the product defect and the injury. You may not have a case if you are injured by a defective product but the injury was not caused by the defect. This is an argument you should expect if you pursue a product defect claim. Numerous product liability cases rely on the testimony of experts where both the plaintiff and defendant use the expert testimony to establish or deny a link between the product defect and the injury.

An experienced product liability attorney can advise you about the potential success of your case, and how the manufacturer and other defendants may try to avoid liability.