Strict liability refers to liability that is not based on negligence. It is one of the legal theories in Florida under which victims can hold manufacturers liable for harm they have sustained as a result of defective products. Victims can pursue a civil action to pursue damages caused by the manufacture, construction, design, formulation, installation, preparation or assembly of a product based on a legal theory such as strict liability, negligence, breach of warranty or nuisance. Strict liability is the most common foundation of product liability claims.
When Strict Liability Applies to a Defective Product Injury Case
There are certain situations in which a company (the defendant) can be held strictly liable for the harm their product causes. In order for a victim (plaintiff) to hold a manufacturer, distributor or seller liable for harms he or she suffered, the product must have been in an unreasonably dangerous condition.
For a plaintiff to have a valid case, the product must have failed to perform as safely as it should have, and the victim must have used the product per its intended use or in a way that the defendant should have foreseen. If the product was altered or being used inappropriately, naturally, the manufacturer cannot be held accountable.
There are three general categories of strict liability for defective products as provided by Florida’s Section 2 of Chapter 1 of the Third Restatement.
- Defective design – The courts will deem a product defective in design when “the foreseeable risks of harm posed by the product could have been reduced or avoided by the adoption of a reasonable alternative design.”
- Manufacturing defect – The product has a manufacturing defect when “the product departs from its intended design, even though all possible care was exercised in the preparation and marketing of the product.”
- Failure to warn – Strict liability also applies when the manufacturer failed to provide adequate instructions or warnings and had the instructions been provided, the consumer likely would not have been harmed.
Examples of Unreasonably Dangerous Products
If a product is dangerous, but its benefits outweigh its dangers, you do not have grounds to file a product liability lawsuit under the strict liability theory. For example, some drugs for serious conditions are known to be very dangerous. However, even though they are dangerous, they might not be considered “unreasonably dangerous” if the patients were properly warned about the potential effects and decided to go ahead with the treatment anyway.
Below are some examples of products that might be considered unreasonably dangerous.
- A curling iron had a defective heating element installed in it. The element shorted and this subsequently increased the risk of shock, burns and fire. (Defective manufacturing)
- A crib was manufactured with poor-quality wood that, even when properly assembled, could break easily when force is applied. (Defective design)
- A manufacturer failed to include proper use and care instructions for an intrinsically dangerous circular saw. (Failure to warn)
Types of Product Liability Cases We Handle
Our team of attorneys at Montero Law have handled a plethora of product liability cases. It’s our aim to help injured consumers get the recompense they deserve when they’ve been injured by dangerous or defective products. Some of the types of cases we take on include:
- Defective scooters, toys and baby items
- Defective vehicles and vehicle parts
- Defective structures or components of buildings, e.g., elevators and decks
- Defective tools and equipment
- Dangerous medicines and supplements
- Defective medical devices
- Contaminated foods
Injured by a defective product? Call Montero Law product liability team.
If you or a loved one were injured by a defective product, we encourage you to call our legal team at Montero Law for help. We can review your case and determine how best to pursue it so you can rightfully recover your damages.
Call us today at 954-767-6500 and schedule a consultation with one of our product liability attorneys today.