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Types of liability in a product case

When you purchase a product, you expect to be able to use it as intended. However, what do you do when the product has a harmful defect or malfunctions?

There are a few different types of liability you may pursue in a product case. Depending on who you plan to sue, a certain type of liability may apply. Make sure you understand the difference to best represent your case.

Strict liability

Minnesota statute 544.41 details a manufacturer's liability in full. Simply put, as the product producer, the manufacturer must follow strict rules regarding the production of the product. If the cause of the defect or harm is due to the negligence of the manufacturer, then strict liability may be a proper charge. Along with the actual production of the product, giving proper warning about product use and care also falls under strict liability.

Negligence

As with any negligence case, to successfully win, the accusing party must show the manufacturer did not meet the proper standard of care and that negligence was the direct cause of injury or loss. The plaintiff must also show the manufacturer could have foreseen the risk during the manufacturing process.

Warranty

If a product does not meet the expressed warranty the manufacturer provides with it, then the manufacturer could be liable for a breach of warranty. Some products come with an implied warranty by virtue of what they are. If the item does not work properly, even without a written warranty, the manufacturer could be liable.

Tortious misrepresentation

If a manufacturer or seller promotes a false claim about the safety or function of a defective product, it may be liable for tortious misrepresentation. Even if a party did not directly make the claim, by not checking the validity of the claim they can still be liable.

It is important to understand the various aspects of liability in a product case. Be sure to do your research so you may build and argue a strong case.

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