What Does Product Liability Mean?

My name is David Salazar. And I wanted to welcome you to my blog and my Facebook group, Safety Guardians. In both places, we talk about a lot of different things, especially about how to protect yourself from household items that you just don’t realize are either dangerous or defective.

Today’s topic is going to be about what exactly that entails. So what is a product liability case? The legal definition of product liability refers to a manufacturer or a seller being held liable for placing a defective product into the hands of the consumer.


The responsibility lies with all sellers

The responsibility for a product defect that causes injury lies with all sellers of the product. So that means basically from the manufacturer on down the line to the distributor and to the actual retailer. Anybody who sold that product is automatically liable in a products defect or products liability case.

Within that compartment are three separate products liability subsections, for a lack of a better term. That is defectively manufactured products, defectively designed products, and failure to adequately warn or instruct. So I want to give you examples of all three so that you understand the difference.


Defectively manufactured products

An example would be an above-ground swimming pool that has a ladder that’s extremely unstable and tends to break whenever people get on it. So in this instance, a little girl climbed the ladder. The ladder fractured in half. She fell back and hit the back of her neck and severed her spine. I came to find out there was a recall on the ladder and they never knew about the recall.


Defectively designed products

For example, a car or an ATV that is prone to tipping whenever you turn a corner. Another example would be a car that is prone to catching fire in minor accidents. Believe it or not, there are a lot of recalls out there where cars catch fire for either no reason at all or whenever there has been a minimal impact.

So keep that in mind because recalls happen daily. Manufacturers are not out there trying to find you to give you the recalls. They are waiting for you to have a problem and then call them up. So just keep that in mind.


Failure to adequately warn or instruct

The last area for product liability is called failure to adequately warn or instruct. A good example of that would be a strong paint thinner or paint stripper, some kind of strong chemical like that, and the instructions on the back don’t tell you how to properly and safely handle that material.

So in this instance, somebody had a severe burn because they decided not to use gloves. Well, nowhere on the product did it say not to use it without gloves. It doesn’t say anything, in fact. It’s a very, very broad label. And they basically failed to properly warn or instruct in that instance.

So these are just examples of different things within those categories of product liability cases that commonly occur throughout everyone’s household. I want to make sure you understand that. We try to get as much insightful information to you as possible.


If you have questions

If you have any questions or concerns, please email me. If you have a question about a product where you think there may be a recall because of some kind of injury that happened in your household, let me know. I’d love to take a look at it and see if we can help. My name is David Salazar. I look forward to talking to you soon.