Our world is full of dangerous products that can cause Personal Injury and/or Wrongful Death. Product Liability claims can bring justice to the victims. More importantly, Product Liability has been a huge motivating factor causing manufacturers to produce safer products. Today, our automobiles, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, children’s toy and many other products are safer today because of America’s products liability laws.
The term “Product Liability” refers to the liability of a manufacturer or seller of a product which is sold in a “defective condition which is unreasonably dangerous for its intended use.”
Defective Products Are a Big Problem Causing Many Injuries.
Defective or dangerous products are the cause of thousands of injuries every year in the US. If you have been injured or suffered damages because of a defective and dangerous product that you have used you may have a Product Liability claim.
Product Liability claims relate to automobiles, bicycles, drugs and pharmaceuticals, medical devices, children’s toys, on a wide variety of other products that we all use in everyday life. The lawyers on the Schmidt-Salita Law Team have experience in handling product liability claims in all of the following areas:
(1) medical devices;
(2) drugs and vaccines;
(3) farm equipment;
(4) construction equipment;
(5) children’s toys and equipment;
(8) motor vehicle tires,
and a wide variety of other products.
There Are Three Basic Elements To Any Product Liability Claim.
Under Minnesota law, there are three basic elements for a product liability case:
(1), the defendant’s product must have been in the defective condition unreasonably dangerous for its intended use at the time of sale;
(2) the defect must have existed when the product left the defendant’s control;
(3) the defect must have been the proximate cause of the injuries sustained to the person making the claim.
Under Minnesota Law, There Are Three Types of Product Liability Claims.
Under Minnesota law, product liability claims can be made in three different manners:
(1) strict liability,
(2) negligence, and
(3) breach of implied warranty.
Consumers are Entitled to Sue Under Strict Liability.
Under Minnesota law, a manufacturer has a duty to use reasonable care to design and manufacture a product that is not in the defective condition unreasonably dangerous to the users or persons who may be exposed to the product when the product is used as intended, or used in a way that the manufacturer could have reasonably anticipated. Accordingly, when the product is manufactured with a defective condition which the manufacturer should have anticipated would cause an unreasonable risk of danger to the user, the manufacturer is strictly liable.
The Defendant Can Be The Manufacturer or Seller of the Product.
Under Minnesota law, both the manufacturer and the seller of the product are potentially liable. However, when it did can be proven that the product was sold by the retailer without change or modification from the condition in which it existed when manufactured, the liability is typically shifted from the retailer or seller back to the manufacturer.
The Defect Must Be “Unreasonably Dangerous.”
In many Product Liability cases, evidence is presented that there was a more “feasible alternative design” of the product. While the existence of a safer, practical alternative design is not an essential element of any Product Liability claim, that evidence is certainly valuable in proving the existence of an “unreasonable risk or danger” in the product that would support the strict liability claim.
The Duty To Warn May Be The Basis Of A Product Liability Claim.
Under Minnesota law, the manufacturer has a duty to provide reasonably adequate warnings and instructions for the safe use of the product when the product is (1) used as intended, or (2) used in a way that the manufacturer could reasonably have anticipated.
A manufacturer’s duty to provide reasonably adequate warnings and instructions must be judged according to the knowledge and technology that existed at the time the product was sold.
In deciding whether a manufacturer’s warnings or instructions were reasonably adequate, a jury may consider all of the facts and circumstances, including, among others:
(1) the likelihood that harm would result from the use of the product;
(2) the seriousness of the harm that would result;
(3) the cost of these of providing warnings or instructions to avoid the harm;
(4) whether the warnings or instructions were in a form that the ordinary user could reasonably be expected to notice and understand;
(5) whether the manufacture considered the knowledge and technology in the field.
The Negligence of a Manufacturer or Seller of a Product Can Be The Basis of a Product Liability Claim.
Negligence is defined in the law as “the failure to use reasonable care.” Negligence can be the basis of a Product Liability claim. The manufacture of a product has a duty to use reasonable care to protect the people who can reasonably be expected to use the product from being exposed to an unreasonable risk of harm or danger when using the product as intended.
The manufacturer’s duty of reasonable care applies to the manufacture, testing, inspection, and’s assembly of these products. The manufacturer is not responsible or liable for injuries resulting from the use of a product in a manner that could not reasonably have been foreseen or anticipated by the manufacturer. However, even in cases where the user is clearly not using the product in a manner in which it was intended, liability may still arrest on the part of the manufacturer. If the injury or danger resulting from the product is significantly greater than that which would be ordinarily expected.
The Schmidt-Salita Law Team Has Many Years of Successful Experience With Product Liability Claims.
Doug Schmidt, partner at the Schmidt-Salita Law Team has long been recognized as one of the premier Product Liability lawyers in Minnesota. As long ago as 1995, Mr. Schmidt was asked to write a law review article in the William Mitchell College of Law Review on the subject of Product Liability.
Partner Dean Salita also has many years of experience in successfully handling Product Liability cases, especially cases involving Mesothelioma cancer resulting from exposure to products containing Asbestos.