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California Strict Product Liability

In a nutshell, strict product liability means liability of all the people involved in the manufacturing process from start to finish to distribution.

Not a lot of people truly realize that strict product liability is as all encompassing as it is. It actually covers the point of origin of a product right on down the chain to the final distribution point of the article or item. In other words, this will include the maker of an item, the place where it was assembled and the retail outlet where the product is eventually sold to the public.

Strict product liability actually goes even further than this in that if an item does have a defect that causes harm to a customer or a friend of a customer (who either borrowed the item or got it as a gift) then all of these people are considered to be defendants in a product liability suit.

Most people relate product liability to tangible products, or physical property, but this isn’t always the case. It may include real estate, books, navigational charts, gas and even pets. Interestingly, California law requires all makers of products to label them clearly with a printed warning, particularly if the product contains lead paint or other harmful pieces. Think small parts that kids could swallow.

To successfully prove a strict product liability case, the plaintiff must be able to show the product was indeed defective. In this area of the law, there are three kinds of product defects often launched in liability lawsuits: marketing defects, manufacturing defects and design defects.

A design defect is considered to be one that is built into the product. It (the defect) is in the design itself and is present prior to the manufacturing process. While the article may perform adequately for a consumer, it has the potential to be dangerous because of its flawed design.

On the other hand, manufacturing defects usually take place when the product is made, yet not all of the products made are defective. Marketing defects refer to poorly written instructions or the failure to warn a consumer about potential product dangers.

Product liability is a strict liability offense, and cases like this are not focused on how careful the defendant was or was not. Typically then, a defendant is liable when a product/item is defective — period. Speak to a well-qualified personal injury lawyer who will be able to assist in receiving compensation for any injuries suffered.