Product Liability Law In California

The product liability law has been put in place to hold responsible the manufacturer of products that malfunctioned and caused an accident or injury to the user. In U.S. the product liability law is different for every state. In every state, to achieve a successful claim one needs to prove variety of elements. The amount of compensation depends on the gravity of the situation. The manufacturer who places the imperfect products in the market pays the compensation. The product liability law in California is one of the strongest in the United States of America.

Defective Product

In California, there are three bases on which the production liability law and consequent action is set up; they are:

1) Negligence

2) Breach of Warranty

3) Strict Product Liability

Negligence is the first theory of product liability law. Under negligence theory the product manufacturer’s conduct is analyzed. As a primary duty, manufacturer should place the well-designed, perfectly manufactured and inspected product in the market. If he fails to do so, he could be held liable for injury caused to the user by the defective product. There are few elements that need to be proved before holding the manufacturer/defendant liable:

• the product was manufactured by the defendant;
• the defendant was negligent while designing, manufacturing or inspecting the product;
• the user got injured while using that product;
• the error at defendant’s end is a major reason of that injury.

The breach of warranty can also be the basis to hold manufacturer liable for the contract. The two types of warranties that are associated with this law are express warranty and implied warranty. Express warranty is the promise that the seller makes to sell the product; this includes the quality of the good when it was sold and the quality of performance it is expected to deliver in future. The breach of express warranty cannot be taken to court unless the buyer is in privity with the seller. An implied warranty is presumed to cover the expectations associated with the product otherwise clearly stated in writing by the manufacturer or the seller. For instance, the buyer needs a cutter which can cut 200 wood blocks a minute and the seller based on his judgment sells him the product which later found to cut only 100 blocks a minute. In this case the buyer can sue the seller for the breach of implied warranty.

California led the way in strictly implementing the product liability law. The third basis to hold the manufacturer liable for the injury cause is the strict product liability. Most of the time it’s hard to hold the seller liable under negligence and breach of warranty; strict product liability helps to get successful claims. The only thing that needs to be proven under this theory is that the product was defective prior to the purchase resulting in injury to the person.

In order to get compensation for the injury caused by the defective product, one should keep the defective product and all related documents to prove your claim. It is also advisable to hire a lawyer who has extensive experience in handling such cases due to their complexity.

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