Every year defective or dangerous products injure thousands of people. Product liability law encompasses injuries that are caused by a wide variety of consumer products. The law requires these to meet certain expectations for safety. If a product has an unexpected defect or danger, then those who were affected can file a lawsuit against any manufacturers or sellers in the distribution chain.
Here are some facts you should know about product liability lawsuits:
Product Liability in Arizona
There is no federal law regarding product liability. Every state has its own statutes and rules for determining how manufacturers and sellers can be held accountable. In Arizona, the laws allow you to seek monetary compensation if you were harmed due to a faulty product. As a plaintiff for a product liability lawsuit in Arizona, you will have to show that the defendant manufactured or sold a product that was defective and unreasonably dangerous. You will also need to prove that the product caused your injury or property damage.
There are two types of lawsuits you may file: a strict liability claim or a negligence claim.
Strict Liability Claim
For a strict product liability claim, a plaintiff must prove that there was an inherent defect in the product and this resulted in the plaintiff’s damages. In order to establish this, the plaintiff must prove that this defect existed in the product at the time the product left the control and custody of the manufacturer, supplier, or retailer. The consumer must also prove that they were using the product as the manufacturer intended. Arizona law also requires that the plaintiff prove the defect rendered the product unreasonably dangerous.
When you file a lawsuit for product liability negligence, the suit must cover the same elements as any other type of negligence action: duty, breach of duty, cause in fact, proximate cause, and damages. In order to win this type of lawsuit, all of these must be proven.
A duty is a legally-recognized relationship between both parties that requires the defendant to act in a certain manner. If the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff and did not provide it, then it could be determined that the defendant was negligent. In the case of product liability (whether it is in the design, manufacturing, or warning labels) the duty is reasonable care.
Breach of Duty
It is not enough to prove that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty. The defendant must have also breached his or her duty to the plaintiff. The way this happens is if they fail to exercise reasonable care, like not inspecting or fully testing a new product before it hits the marketplace.
Cause in Fact
Another thing that must be proven is that the defendant’s actions or lack of actions were the actual cause of the injury. What does this mean? Had the defendant not acted in such a way, there would have been no injury to the plaintiff.
Negligence cases can be complicated by proximate cause. This determines the scope of responsibility in a case. A defendant can only be held responsible for the harm that they could have foreseen through their actions.
Once failure to exercise reasonable care has been established, the plaintiff must also prove that the result of the lack of care was actual damage, like physical injury or damage to property.
Experienced Attorneys for Product Liability Lawsuits
It takes an experienced lawyer to argue a negligence case and to get you compensated for your damages. At Grabb & Durando, we have over a decade of experience and can help get you the settlement you deserve.