In recent posts, we’ve been looking at Kentucky law regarding manufacturer liability for defective products, including both the limitations on manufacturer liability and legal presumptions plaintiffs must overcome in proving liability.
The second presumption we began speaking about last time, the one related to industry standards, is a particularly important one, because it is so common. Plaintiffs may argue that the manufacturer’s design was defective because it did not constitute a safe design. Manufacturers will often argue that they did not have a legal duty to use an alternative design for a product because the actual design met generally accepted industry standards.
Another issue in product liability litigation is the parties a consumer is able to sue. In product liability litigation, it isn’t only manufacturers who can potentially be targeted, but also wholesalers, distributors, or retails, and any party in the distribution chain associated with the defective product. Kentucky law provides that non-manufacturer parties are not liable for product defects as long as they can show by a preponderance of the evidence that the product was sold in its original condition or package. There is an exception, however, for cases where the distributor breached an express warranty, and where the distributor knew or should have known that the product was defective or unreasonably dangerous at the time of distribution or sale.
Sorting out these issues in product liability litigation is critical to establishing the manufacturer’s liability. Product defects can play an important role in motor vehicle accidents, and it is important to work with an experienced attorney to build the strongest possible case.