Tennessee Product Liability Law: Dangerous & Defective Products
Once a product has been sent to stores or placed for sale online, consumers are entitled to the assurance that the product will be safe for ordinary use. Sadly, though, those responsible for the design, manufacture, and distribution of such products are occasionally unable to meet these expectations.
If a product doesn’t perform as advertised or is inherently hazardous even when being used as intended, often the resulting injuries can be detrimental. The experienced product liability attorneys at InjuryTN have dedicated their practice to protecting the rights of consumers and their families by holding manufacturers responsible for the creation and sale of dangerous and defective products.
Tennessee Seller’s Liability
Large pharmaceutical companies and their insurers tend to prioritize profits over the safety of consumers. Both Tennessee and federal law have established concise regulations in regards to their accountability for product designers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. Our attorneys work relentlessly to make sure your rights and best interests are protected under such regulations.
Claims of this nature fall under the practice of product liability (also referred to as Seller’s liability), as established in Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-28-106, which establishes that product liability is a civil action formed on the basis that those responsible for a product’s design, testing, manufacturing, labeling, and packaging are to be held liable for damages that the product’s defects end up causing.
Product liability litigation is not constrained by industry either, it’s prevalence extends beyond such boundaries and reveals its true nature of being an all-encompassing issue. For instance, the following are only a few of the more common industries which have continuous problems with dangerous and defective products:
- Child & Infant Products
- Construction Tools & Equipment
- Food Products
- Home Maintenance Equipment & Materials
- Lawn Care & Garden Products
- Motor Vehicle Parts & Products
- Pharmaceuticals & Medicine or Supplements
- Sports, Fitness, or Recreational Products & Equipment
Product Defect Injuries & Deaths
Unfortunately, defective products from such industries have taken a massive toll on our society as a whole, as exemplified in recent reports from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). These reports show that in children under the age of six, an approximate 75,000 are hospitalized every year by way of the emergency room because of injuries caused by defective products.
Furthermore, throughout the course of a recent two-year period, defects in nursery products caused more than 330 child fatalities and defects found in toys were the cause of more than 250,000 injuries in children under the age of sixteen. Once we take all fatalities and injuries in differing age groups that were caused by defective products into consideration, the financial impact this has on industries easily exceeds $1 billion annually.
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If you or someone you care about has been injured because of a dangerous and defective product, you should seek immediate legal assistance to protect your rights and obtain fair compensation!
Types of Product Liability Claims
The specific practice that will be used in your product liability case will vary depending on the type of defect and whether or not the business at fault provided appropriate warnings of risk to consumers. However, in general, there are three primary types of product liability claims:
- Negligence – Such claims will entail the plaintiff being required to provide evidence that the product’s design or manufacture was conducted carelessly, and that this carelessness directly caused an injury to occur. One would also be required to prove that the defendant was responsible for the sale of a safe product, that this responsibility was breached (especially in cases where the defendant was aware of the product’s faulty or defective state), and that this defect or flaw proximately resulted in an injury to the plaintiff.
- During the developmental phase of a product’s lifecycle, those responsible for its design and manufacture also have a duty to ensure its safe design, quality construction, and thorough testing are completed prior to being sent to the market.
- Strict Liability – Filing claims will entail the plaintiff only being required to prove that there was and/or still is some aspect of the product which would be deemed defective and this defect directly resulted in an injury.
- Determining whether those responsible for the product’s design and manufacture had used best practices in exercising necessary precautions or due care would, for the most part, not be considered relevant.
- In the event of a defect’s presence resulting in injury, defendants may be held strictly liable. In such cases, the claim is only valid when products had been purchased firsthand.
- Breach of Warranty – These claims primarily focus the attention on whether or not those responsible for a product’s manufacture and design had breached their obligation to fulfill a promise to consumers. When a product is being sold, there are generally two types of warranties that are established:
- Express Warranty – A written or verbal representation or promise made regarding the product by those manufacturing or selling it.
- Implied Warranty – A representation or promise which may not have been stated, but was implicit in its sale –– that if a product is being used as it was intended, it should not cause any harm.
Product Liability Litigation
Business entities often have the ability to surmount such allegations if it can be proven that either the consumer failed to use the product for its intended purpose or that they did in fact provide adequate warnings and thorough instructions with the product when it was sold.
Often, product liability cases will also involve problems of causation, meaning that consumers will be required to provide evidence which proves that the injuries which were sustained had been a direct result of the defendant’s breach of responsibility. There are two distinct elements in these cases that will need to be proven:
- Causation In Fact (Actual Cause) – the plaintiff would be required to show that the incident or injury would not have happened “but for” the defendant’s actions.
- For cases that involve more than one cause having been factored into the injury, the plaintiff will only need to prove that the defendant’s negligence was a “substantial factor” which contributed to the injury.
- Proximate Cause – this places a restriction on the causal chain so that even if the plaintiff’s injury wouldn’t have occurred if not for the defendant’s breach of duty. However, defendants will not be held responsible for injuries which were not substantially caused by their actions or weren’t reasonably foreseeable effects of their actions.
Experienced Product Liability Attorneys
The experienced Nashville product liability lawyers at InjuryTN know the burden of proof needed to win claims of this kind, and we are committed to fighting for the best outcomes in our clients’ cases. If you or someone you know has been injured in Middle Tennessee, contact InjuryTN for your free and confidential case evaluation. There are no costs or fees until we win your case. Call today at (615) 640-HURT or fill out an online contact form to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Tennessee product liability attorney.