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Defective Product Liability Cases: Is More Than the Seller Liable?

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If you were injured by a defective product, you could be off work for months or
longer recovering from your injuries. Even if you're able to return to your job, you may suffer lifelong limitations in your daily activities, so you want to receive all the compensation you're entitled to. This involves not only proving your case but also holding all potential parties liable for your injuries.

Who Could Be Responsible for Compensating You?

For an effective legal claim, you want to include all parties that could be responsible for your injuries. This ensures that if one party doesn't have the funds to pay you, or is only partially at fault, you have other avenues for obtaining the full amount of your damages. As a general rule, a product liability lawsuit should include all parties involved in the chain of distribution, from the manufacturer to the delivery of the defective product.

There are a number of product distribution categories that may be listed in your case:

  • Manufacturer. The manufacturer of the product is the company that or individual who produced the defective product.
  • Parts manufacturer. If a defective part in the product caused your injuries, you would want to include the parts manufacturer, in addition to the product manufacturer, in your claim.
  • Design and control parties. Engineers or others parties involved in the product’s design or manufacture could face responsibility in a product liability case, whether the defect existed in the part or the product. In addition, quality-control engineers or technical experts could be liable if they did not find a product’s defect or warn of a potential danger in the instructions.
  • Assembler. If the manufacturer contracted out the assembly of the product, this party could also be responsible for reimbursing you for damages.
  • Wholesaler. This company or individual between the manufacturer and retailer is responsible for distributing the product.
  • Retailer. The retailer from which you purchased the product may bear responsibility for selling a defective product that injured you—even if someone else purchased the product you used.

Determining how to prove that a product is defective and all the responsible parties to involve in a lawsuit is complex. Hiring an experienced product liability attorney is crucial if you want a successful outcome. If you or a loved one was injured by a defective product, complete our firm's online form to schedule a free case evaluation with Alan Morton.