These are possible theories for products liabilities: (1) strict products liability, (2) negligence, (3) implied warranties, and (4) express warranties.
To prevail on a strict products liability action, a plaintiff must prove the following elements: (1) strict duty owed by a commercial supplier, (2) breach of that duty, (3) actual and proximate cause, (4) damages, and (5) no defenses.
A commercial supplier is a manufacturer or distributor of a product. For example, a manufacturer who manufactured allergy pills, owed a duty to users, consumers, and bystanders. If an injured party was a user of the pills, the manufacturer owed a duty to injured party.
To establish a breach of duty, a plaintiff must show a product is defective when it leaves a commercial supplier’s control. There are three types of defects: (1) manufacturing, (2) design, and (3) inadequate labeling.
To prove actual cause, the plaintiff must trace the harm suffered to a defect in the product that existed when it left the defendant’s control. If a plaintiff’s injuries would not have occurred but for defendant’s act or omission, then defendant’s conduct is the cause in fact of the harm. If the injury would have occurred despite defendant’s conduct, there is no cause in fact. For example, the absence of a warning about allergy pills that risk permanent loss of eyesight would be the actual causes of a plaintiff’s injury. The victim would not have suffered loss of eyesight but for the pills. If the victim was adequately warned of the effects of the pills, the victim might not have taken them.
A defendant is legally responsible for injuries suffered by foreseeable individuals within the zone of danger created by defendant’s unreasonable conduct.
For damages, a plaintiff shows physical or property loss.
Assumption of the risk is a defense to products liability claims, but a defendant must show the plaintiff knew of the risk, and voluntarily assumed the risk.
Another theory of liability to products liability is negligence. To establish a prima facie case for negligence, Sally must show: (1) the existence of a legal duty owed by the defendant, (2) breach of that duty, (3) actual and proximate cause, (4) damages, and (5) no defenses.
A plaintiff in a products liability case can also base damages on violation of implied warranty. There is an implied warranty that goods are (1) merchantable, meaning they are fit for their ordinary purposes, and (2) fit for particular purposes for which such goods are used, meaning the (a) seller knows of a buyer’s particular purpose, and (b) the buyer relies on the seller’s skill in purchasing the goods.
Finally, in a products liability case based on an express warranty, the plaintiff shows a supplier makes affirmations of fact or promises to a buyer relating to the goods that become part of the basis of the bargain.
When suffering injuries from products liability, engage a prepared Florida personal injury attorney who knows different theories of liability.