How Does California Law Define Product Liability

According to California Law, product liability is explained as an accountability of all parties involved in the manufacturing or production of a certain product and for any damages or harm brought by that product.


The product liability law in California may hold all parties including product manufacturer, assembler, retailer and wholesaler liable. Generally, these parties will be held liable for a product that has any intrinsic defect or was made without following the necessary standards if it has created significant harm to the user. Product liability law in California covers tangible products such as electronic equipment, appliances and even food items. However it can be extended to include following items as well:

● Intangible items such as gas.
● Natural resources such as animals, plants etc.
● Writing materials like navigation charts, maps etc,
● Real estate entities such as buildings, houses and dormitories.

The product liability law in California defines defective products as –

● Products that are dangerous for regular use.
● Doesn’t possess sufficient instructions.
● Not suitable for its intended use.
● Products that are inherently unsafe because of their erroneous design, manufacturing and assembly.

All the safety issues of consumer product involving defective and harmful products are civil lawsuits that are covered under Tort Law. It is not a federal law but is considered as a state statutory law, which varies from state to state. However, there are certain types of faulty product cases involving medical devices and prescription drugs where federal law plays a vital role in lawsuit. Different states have also endorsed several provisions to tackle product liability cases. Product liability actions are taken on the basis of warranty violation, strict liability or neglectful acts, taking into consideration the state where the issue occurred.

In order to file a product liability claim successfully, the suffered victim must be able to demonstrate defects in the product. A defect that was present or inherent in the product even before it has been manufactured is considered as design defect. On the other hand, manufacturing defects are related with the production or assembly of the product regardless if the manufacturer followed the necessary standards or not. Finally, marketing defects involve failure to demonstrate the hazard of the product or unable to give proper instructions to customers on how to use the product.

In all product liability cases, valid evidence is required to prove there was a design, manufacturing or marketing defect in the product.

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