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Who Can Be Sued in a Defective Product Liability Case?



June 29th, 2016

Defective product liability

Identifying the parties (people or companies) is an important first step in filing a defective product lawsuit. There are a number of different potential parties that could be sued, depending on the type of product liability claim. Naming the right parties may increase the chance of getting full recovery for the injuries. However, identifying the liable parties may not be an easy task. All parties included in the chain of distribution can be added as defendants in a defective product lawsuit.

The following are the type of entities who can be sued in a defective product liability case:

  1. Manufacturer

    It is important to note that more than one manufacturer can be a defendant in a defective product liability case. The manufacturer can be an individual working out of a garage or a multinational company. If the defective product is part of a larger product, it is important to include both the manufacturer of the defective part and the manufacturer of the whole product that contains the defective part.

    It is also important to name all the contractors and consultants who worked with the manufacturer to design the defective product. A defective product liability lawsuit should include the companies that built the product, designed it, contributed parts to it, or inspected it for quality. Having all these details will ensure full recovery for the injuries.

  2. Retailer

    Although, the retail store where the defective product was sold may have nothing to do with the designing and manufacturing of the product, the retailer can still be sued for selling a defective product.

    Note the following points when figuring out if the retailer can be sued.

    You don’t need to be a buyer– You can still recover for injuries, even if you did not buy the defective product that caused you injury. This is applicable in a situation when you get injured by an improperly manufactured product given to you by a co-worker. Just because you did not purchase the product yourself this does not prevent you from bringing a defective product lawsuit against the retail store, from where the defective product was purchased.

    You don’t have to be the product user– You can file a defective product claim if you were injured by a defective product that someone else was using. For example, if you get injured by blade that flies loose from your neighbor’s defective lawnmower, a defective product liability claim can be filed against the retailer, regardless of the fact that you were neither the purchaser nor the user of the defective product.

    You might be able to recover for used products– If a used product was purchased that turned out to be defective from a supplier of used goods, you can sue the supplier, depending on the product, the nature of the defect, and your state laws.

  3. Wholesaler/ Distributor

    Between the manufacturer and the retailer, there are a number of wholesalers, suppliers, distributors, or other middlemen. All of them are part of the chain of distribution of the product. In case of a defective product, they can be potentially liable, and therefore should be named as defendants in the defective product lawsuit.

  4. Product liability litigation against foreign businesses

    When the manufacturer, retailer or other entities in the chain of distribution are foreign corporations, it is still possible to sue them because typically these corporations are subject to the jurisdiction of the court in the state in which they do their business.

  5. Product liability litigation against corporations

    Corporations can be the manufacturer, retailer, and any middlemen who are part of the chain of distribution of the defective product. According to the product liability law, corporations are considered to be equivalent to persons and can be held liable. However, corporations can change their shape, form, and owners frequently by means of mergers or acquisitions through other companies, reorganizations, spin-offs, re-naming, and so on. The successor company may inherit liability for the previous company’s participation in the chain of distribution of a defective product. These successor companies should be named as defendants in the claim.

Contact us to defend your defective product liability case

Have you or loved one suffered severe injuries due to a defective product? An experienced attorney at Dervishi Law Group, P.C., can help assist you in recovering rightful compensation. Call us at 917-300-0797/718-619-4525 to speak with our defective product lawyers now or fill out the “Free Defective Product Case Evaluation” form available on our website.

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