The Number One Rule in Product Liability Claims

Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley

Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley

Product liability is based in “tort” law, along with legal claims like intentional torts, negligence, and strict liability. Torts are wrongful acts that cause injury to another person. Product liability claims can be based on negligence, strict liability, or breach of warranty.

Product liability claims seek to hold various entities within the manufacturing chain, including the manufacturer of parts, the assembling manufacturer, the wholesalers, and the retail store owners for damages caused by that product; or, more specifically, for damages caused by a defective product.

If you believe that you have been injured by a defective product in Florida, contact a Florida product liability attorney.

Product Liability Claims in Florida

Manufacturers and sellers are legally responsible for manufacturing and marketing products that are safe and effective when such products are used as intended. In Florida, to establish a successful products liability claim, a plaintiff must show:

  • Defective Product. Plaintiffs must show that the product in question was flawed in one of three ways:
    • Defectively designed, 
    • Defectively manufactured, or 
    • The manufacturer knew or should have known of risks and failed to warn consumers.

Showing that a product is defective can be difficult. Defective products are often the subject of mass tort claims, where hundreds or thousands of people claim to have been injured by a defective product. But being a small part of a huge litigation machine has both advantages and disadvantages.

  • Product Used As Intended. Plaintiffs must show that they were:
    • Using the product as the manufacturer intended to be used, or 
    • Using the product in a way the manufacturer could expect a reasonable person to use it.

So, if you tape a skateboard to an ironing board and claim that you and two friends were injured because the ironing board cracked in half while you were riding it down a hill, you’re not likely to have a reasonable claim.

  • Loss. Plaintiffs must show that they suffered damages, i.e., actual injury or monetary loss resulting from using the manufacturer’s product.

So, if a firecracker spontaneously explodes during a hot summer day and blows off a finger, that’s one thing, but if no one even discovers it until the next day, you haven’t been injured.

  • Causation. Injured individuals must show that the defect proximately caused the injury.

Causation is commonly a problem for plaintiffs, which is why you need to work with a Florida product liability attorney. 

So What Is The Number One Rule?

It’s quite simple, actually. Always keep the product you believe to be defective. Without the product itself, you’ll never be able to establish it caused any damage.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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