Product liability is the body of law that provides for compensation for physical injuries and property damage resulting from defective and unreasonably dangerous products and from the failure of a manufacturer or seller to warn the consumer of product dangers.
A products liability claim includes all claims or actions brought for personal injury, death or property damage caused by the manufacture, construction, design, formula, preparation, assembly, installation, testing, warnings, instructions, marketing, packaging or labeling of any product. A products liability claim can only be asserted against one who is a “product seller.”
Tort liability protects a consumer’s interest in freedom from injury regardless of the existence of an agreement between the parties. Tort law imposes responsibility on manufacturers of defective products because they are best able to encourage safer manufacture and design and to allocate the costs of injury arising from unsafe products. A contractual duty arises from society’s interest in the performance of promises and has been traditionally concerned with the fulfillment of reasonable economic expectations. Society’s need to spread losses is substantially lessened in commercial transactions where damage is to only the product itself, because those losses essentially relate to the benefit of the bargain between business entities.
Products Liability Lawsuits are generally brought under either a negligence or a strict liability theory.