Product Liability Attorney in Brentwood, Tennessee

The field of product liability law sets out the legal rules for determining when manufacturers and/or sellers are to be held responsible for injuries caused by their defective products. The following parties can be held liable for injuries sustained by consumers caused by dangerous or defective products:

  • Manufacturers of component parts
  • Manufacturers of finished products
  • Wholesalers
  • Retail sellers

As a general legal principle, these parties are responsible for ensuring that a product meets the ordinary expectations of the consumer. When a product purchased by a consumer contains a defect that makes the product unreasonably dangerous and the product causes injury to the consumer, the consumer has a product liability cause of action.

What Makes A Product Unreasonably Dangerous?

Generally speaking, a product is considered unreasonably dangerous when it is dangerous beyond that which would be contemplated by the ordinary consumer, or a product that would not be put on the market by a reasonably prudent manufacturer because of its dangerous condition, assuming the manufacturer knew thereof.

However, sometimes dangerous products are not considered unreasonably dangerous and are allowed onto the market because of the usefulness of the product, the obviousness of the danger, common knowledge of the danger, and the unavailability of other safer products to meet the same need.

Types Of Product Liability Claims

  • Defectively manufactured products - Since the problem occurs as a result of something that occurred at the place of fabrication, the product that injured you is somehow different from all the other items produced by the same entity.
  • Defectively designed products - A product's design is inherently dangerous, so that the entire line is faulty, even if all of the products conform to the exact specifications of the manufacturer.
  • Defectively marketed product (Failure to provide adequate warning or instruction) - The product is dangerous to the user in a non-obvious way or requires the user to take special precautions when using the product of which the user was not warned.

Assignment Of Liability

Generally, product liability claims are claims of strict liability. The injured party does not need to prove the potential injurer was negligent, but only that the product was defective for a strict liability (also known as a "no-fault" claim).

However, the potential injurer may bring up comparative fault of the user as a defense to a strict liability product liability claim to reduce its liability by the proportion of fault attributable to the user.

Under any comparative negligence system, your ability to recover damages may be reduced if you are partly at fault. In Tennessee you can recover damages only if you are responsible for less than 50 percent of the injury.

Depending on the situation, an injured user may also try to invoke the doctrine of "res ipsa loquitor." Under the doctrine, if the user can establish (1) that the instrumentality causing the injury was under exclusive control of the potential injurer and (2) that the accident would not have occurred without negligence on the part of the controller, the burden will shift to the potential injurer to show they are not negligent.

Call our Brentwood personal injury lawyers today to discuss pursuing a claim for potential compensation.