What Is Products Liability?
When a person uses a product in a reasonable manner and that product causes injury, the manufacturer, wholesaler or seller may be liable. Think of a hairdryer that emits a dangerous shock or a child's toy that contains small, sharp pieces: consumers should be able to use these products as they are intended to be used without worrying about being hurt. If you or a loved one has been injured by a product, consult with an attorney to discuss your options.
Products liability law allows consumers to seek compensation when a product harms them. Compensable injuries can result from several types of wrongdoing on the part of the manufacturer, wholesaler or seller, such as negligence; design defects; manufacturing defects; lack of proper warning or instructions; and unreasonably dangerous conditions of the product.
Consumer Product Safety Commission
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), under authority granted by the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), is a governmental agency that protects consumers from the risks of injury or death caused by products. Not all products, however, are within the scope of the agency. Tobacco, medical devices and food, for instance, are not covered by the agency. Items such as furniture, clothing, toys and tools are covered by the agency.
The CPSC publicizes recalls of products including those that contain excessive lead paint, cause fires or present other unreasonable threats of injury. It also establishes standards of product safety and fines manufacturers for violations. Companies must convey reports of unreasonably dangerous products to the CPSC.
Not all injuries, of course, can be prevented by the CPSC. If you have been injured or a loved one has been injured or killed, you may have a case against the product's manufacturer or seller. State law typically deals with products liability.
State law, however, may be preempted by federal law in certain situations, and specific products liability laws vary from state to state. This is why it is important to consult an attorney who knows the law in your state.
Not every products liability-related injury occurs at home. The workplace also can be a minefield of dangers, depending on the nature of the work. Jobs in manufacturing and production can be risky, and the companies that make the equipment must take measures to make the equipment safe. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency that establishes rules on workplace safety and inspects workplaces for compliance.
Wherever you are, you should be able to expect that when you use a product in a reasonable manner, you should be safe from injury.
Contact an Attorney
If you have questions regarding an injury that was caused by a defective or unreasonably dangerous product, it is best to speak with an attorney. Schedule a consultation with a products liability lawyer to discuss your situation.
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