The law of product liability deals with the liability of the manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer of a product for injuries resulting from that product. This includes the manufacturer of component parts of the product, an assembling manufacturer, the wholesaler, the retail store or other ultimate seller of the product, and any other party in the distributive chain, regardless of whether you actually purchased the item yourself.
Research from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission indicates that defective or unsafe products cause 29.4 million injuries and 21,400 deaths each year. Within the U.S., an estimated $700 billion is spent annually on the injuries, deaths, and property damage caused from consumer product incidents. You or your child may be injured by something seemingly harmless or something you use everyday, such as a hair dryer, toaster, baby chair, toy, iron, coffee maker, air conditioner, car, hand tool or even your clothing. Product liability law gives consumers the ability to sue for and recover damages from manufacturers, distributors and vendors for injuries resulting from accidents caused by products. Virtually all products are subject to products liability law, not just items on the store shelves – products subject to the law run the spectrum from food, drugs, appliances, automobiles, medical devices, medical implants, blood, tobacco, gases, real estate, writings, maps, and even commercial jets.
Products liability claims are tort-based claims that can arise from negligence, strict liability, or breach of warranty, though products liability is often focused on strict liability claims.