When a consumer is injured by a product it is not a given that he or she will be awarded compensation for said injuries. The injured party, or plaintiff, will need to prove in court that the product (poor design, instructions, advertising, development) actually caused their injuries. If your company has been accused of providing a defective product to the market and it has harmed a consumer you will likely want to know how to defend against such claims. It won’t be easy but there are some common defenses companies have used in the past to have these claims withdrawn or dismissed. Let’s take a look at the defenses your company can use when facing a product liability lawsuit in today’s post.
The Plaintiff Exhibited Negligent Actions
For the most part, if the plaintiff in the case was negligent in any way that it contributed to the accident that led to the injuries it might lead to a dismissal of the case. If the case is not dismissed it could very well lead to the amount of damages owed by your company to the plaintiff being greatly reduced. This type of defense is used most often in cases involving breach of warranty and negligence. When would a plaintiff exhibit negligence? For example, maybe the plaintiff used the product in a way that was unintended by the manufacturer or directly against the warnings listed on it.
The Defect or Design of the Product Did Not Cause Injury
Another defense companies can use to product liability lawsuits is that the defect or the design of the product is now what caused the injury to the plaintiff. This is a very difficult defense to prove but not impossible. The defendant, your company, would need to prove that the injury caused to the plaintiff could not have been reasonably predicted, which means it couldn’t have been warned against or prevented in the design of the product.
Plaintiff Assumed Risk of Using the Product
Many companies will argue that the plaintiff in the product liability case assumed the risk of using the product. This is when the plaintiff actually knows they could suffer an injury based on the way they are using the product. This is very different from the plaintiff being negligent in their use of the product. When a person is careless it leads to negligence. When a person disregards a known risk to their safety, it leads to assumption of risk.
Statute of Limitations Expired
If the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit against your company has expired, this is the best defense to use for product liability claims. If the plaintiff missed the deadline to file their lawsuit it will be tossed and you will not have to appear in court.
Is your company facing a product liability lawsuit? It’s important that you protect the company, the product in question, and your employees immediately. Contact the office of Thomas Paschos Law & Associates P.C. today to schedule a consultation about your case.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.