When a product injures an individual, it may be possible to file a personal injury claim against numerous entities that were involved in the making and distribution of the product. In certain, unique circumstances, the claim can be brought under the theory of strict liability. This is an important type of claim, as it does not require the plaintiff to show that the defendant acted intentionally or negligently. This can potentially increase the chances of recovery.
Strict Products Liability
Under South Carolina law, liability is imposed on the seller of a product that contains a defect that makes it unreasonably dangerous if the following conditions are met:
The seller is in the business of selling that product
The product reaches the consumer without any substantial change in its condition from the point of its sale
A product may contain a manufacturing defect, be defective in its design, or contain inadequate warnings or instructions. A manufacturing defect occurs when something goes wrong in the process of making the product, causing it to be made in a way that is not in accordance with its intended design. A product is defective in its design when adopting a reasonable alternative design would have reduced or eliminated a foreseeable risk of harm. A defect related to warnings occurs when omission of instructions or warnings causes the product to be unreasonably dangerous.
It is most common to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the product, but claims can also be made against:
Manufacturers of parts that go into the product
Retail stores that sell the product
The theory behind allowing a plaintiff to file claims against manufacturers, distributors, and retailers is that a plaintiff should not be barred from recovery simply because he or she does not know which party was responsible for the defect. If a defect is proven, it is left to the defendants to determine which party actually caused the defective condition.
The statute of limitations for bringing a strict products liability claim is the same as any other personal injury claim. A plaintiff has three years from the date of the injury to file a claim. It is important to be aware of the statute of limitations because once this period ends recovery is usually barred. A person is also barred from recovery if he or she becomes aware of the defective condition and still proceeds unreasonably to use the product.
If you have been injured as a result of a product, it may have been caused because the product was defective in some way, making a strict product liability claim possible. By filing a strict liability claim, the path to recovery can potentially be simpler. For more information, contact an experienced South Carolina personal injury attorney today. At the Surasky Law Firm we can help you pursue compensation for injuries you have suffered. We look forward to hearing from you.