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On what basis can one pursue a products liability lawsuit?

Consumers in West Virginia may assume that much testing takes place before a product hits store shelves. Whether the product is a child's toy, a medication, a piece of furniture or even an automobile, consumers deserve to feel safe that these products will not place them or their loved ones in danger. Unfortunately, that doesn't always happen, and consumers are injured or even killed due to defective products.

In general, a product can be defective in three different ways. There could be a defect in the way the product was designed. There could be a defect in the way a product was manufactured. Finally, the product's instructions or warning labels could be defective.

If a person was injured by a defective product, they may wish to pursue compensation through a products liability lawsuit. There are a number of legal theories that a products liability lawsuit can be based on. One of these is negligence. In a negligence lawsuit, the injured party can seek compensation if they can show that they were owed a duty, that the duty was breached, that the breach was the proximate and actual cause of the party's injuries, and that the breach led to actual damages.

Another theory a products liability lawsuit might be based on is that of strict liability. Under this theory, a manufacturer is responsible for any defects resulting from the manufacturing process, regardless of their level of care. Therefore, the injured party need not show the manufacturer was negligent, just that the defect was caused due to some error in the manufacturing process.

While this post provides a general overview of a products liability cause of action, it is not meant to serve as the basis for a lawsuit. Those who have been injured due to a defective product may want to seek advice from an attorney, to learn whether they can pursue a products liability lawsuit and, if so, on what grounds.

Source: FindLaw, "Defective Products and Consumer Rights," Accessed July 17, 2017

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