There are a few different methods a plaintiff in a wrongful death case stemming from a product can use to prove liability. These methods include strict liability, warranty, negligence and tortious misrepresentation.
Manufacturers are liable for product defects that occur during the manufacturing process due to Section 402A of the Restatement of Torts. This also includes cases that involve manufacturer failure to provide ample warnings to consumers, even if there were no issues with the manufacturing process.
The Uniform Commercial Code (U.C.C.) has been adopted in part by Texas. The U.C.C. provides how warranties in the United States are handled. A warranty is a guarantee provided to the consumer by the product seller. If the quality of the product turns out to be less than what was represented, the seller could be held liable. There are two kinds of implied warranties: an implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose and an implied warranty of merchantability.
One of the most common methods plaintiffs use is negligence. In order to prove negligence on the part of the defendant, the plaintiff needs to prove five elements. These five elements include the following:
- A duty to the plaintiff was owed by the manufacturer.
- The duty to the plaintiff was breached by the manufacturer.
- The plaintiff's injury was actually caused by the breach of duty by the manufacturer.
- The proximate cause of the plaintiff's injury was caused by the manufacturer's breach of duty.
- The negligent act caused the plaintiff to suffer actual damages.
Tortious misrepresentation occurs when the plaintiff is hurt by relying on information provided by the seller about a product. This can occur in three ways. The first is if the seller knowingly defrauds the buyer. The second is when the seller commits negligent misrepresentation. The third way is when a company makes a public statement about a product's safety, which can lead to strict liability.
An experienced products liability attorney can answer all of your questions and explain your rights in Nashville, Tennessee.
Source: FindLaw, "Legal Basis for Liability in Product Cases," accessed March 07, 2017