Who might be responsible for a defective product that causes injury?

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Defective Product Responsible Defective Products

Who might be responsible for a defective product that causes injury?

A repairer, seller or manufacturer of defective goods is liable for injuries sustained by the person(s) using them. Liability may also extend to persons who did not purchase the product, but were using the product in a “foreseeable” manner when the injury occurred. Also, people injured as a result of someone else using a defective product may be able to recover if their injuries were caused by the product’s defect.

In other words, the manufacturer of the defective product and its sellers are liable for injuries caused as a result of the defect. Everyone between the manufacturer and retailer, who are considered to be in the “chain of commerce,” such as wholesalers or distributors, may be liable even though they did not “cause” the defect.

If the defective part was a component in a larger product (for example, a defective seat belt in an automobile), the component producer may be liable, as well as the manufacturer of the larger product.

There is sometimes a question as to whether sellers of “second hand goods” can be held liable for a product defect, since there is not the same expectation on the part of the purchaser. That depends on the facts, and varies from state to state. However, if the product was warranted or guaranteed to work “like new,” there may be a basis of liability.

Finally, with the emergence of corporate takeovers, purchases, break-ups and dissolutions, there may be other potentially responsible parties who are liable for injuries caused by defective products. A good product liability attorney typically performs a thorough corporate search to locate and then sue all the proper parties if a lawsuit seems justified.

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