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Types of grounds for product liability

There are several grounds on which an injured plaintiff may base a product liability case to recover damages suffered from the use of a product. It may be helpful for people in Kentucky who are in this situation to learn about the grounds on which they may sue.

Negligence is one common basis for a product liability case. Five basic factors must be present for the plaintiff to prove negligence. This includes the product manufacturer having an obligation and breaching that obligation to the use, the user suffering actual damages, and the breach being the actual and proximate cause of injury to the user. According to law, the plaintiff could be entitled to compensation if the manufacturer does not exercise standard of care and could foresee the risk of the product causing injury to the user.

Another basis for a product liability case is breach of warranty, which is a guarantee from the seller to the buyer. With an express warranty, the seller promises that the product has a certain level of quality. If the quality does not stand up to the guaranteed, the seller may be held accountable for breach of warranty. Under an implied warranty of merchantability, the seller promises that the product will perform as described. An implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose promises that the seller gives correct instructions on using the product. Tortious misrepresentation is a ground for liability when the manufacturer makes misleading or false claims about a product. Under strict liability, a manufacturer is accountable for defects that arise in products during the manufacturing process.

An individual injured, perhaps from the use of medical equipment, might be able to sue the manufacturer and seller on more than one basis of liability. An attorney can outline the different factors required to prove the case.

Source: FindLaw, "Legal Basis for Liability in Product Cases", accessed on Feb. 18, 2015

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