Cornell University Law  School defines products liability as follows:
“Products liability refers to the liability of any or all parties along the chain of manufacture of any product for damage caused by that product. This includes the manufacturer of component parts (at the top of the chain), an assembling manufacturer, the wholesaler, and the retail store owner (at the bottom of the chain). Products containing inherent defects that cause harm to a consumer of the product, or someone to whom the product was loaned, given, etc., are the subjects of products liability suits. While products are generally thought of as tangible personal property, products liability has stretched that definition to include intangibles (gas), naturals (pets), real estate (house), and writings (navigational charts).
When a person is injured by a defective product that is unreasonably dangerous or unsafe, the injured person may have a claim or cause of action against the company that designed, manufactured, sold, distributed, leased, or furnished the product. In other words, the company may be liable to the person for his injuries and, as a result may be required to pay for his damages.
In the state of Florida, Title XLV, Chapter 768.81 of the statute concerns products liability and states:
“Negligence action” means, without limitation, a civil action for damages based upon a theory of negligence, strict liability, products liability, professional malpractice whether couched in terms of contract or tort, or breach of warranty and like theories. The substance of an action, not conclusory terms used by a party, determines whether an action is a negligence action.
(d) “Products liability action” means a civil action based upon a theory of strict liability, negligence, breach of warranty, nuisance, or similar theories for damages caused by the manufacture, construction, design, formulation, installation, preparation, or assembly of a product. The term includes an action alleging that injuries received by a claimant in an accident were greater than the injuries the claimant would have received but for a defective product. The substance of an action, not the conclusory terms used by a party, determines whether an action is a products liability action.”
As the Florida statute suggests, product liability cases are usually based on one of two legal theories: strict liability and negligence.
- Strict Liability. A legal theory that allows plaintiffs, usually consumers, to recover damages without proving that the defendants were negligent or careless if a defective or dangerous product was placed on the market and the defect caused an injury.
- Negligence. The plaintiff/consumer has to show that the defendants were careless in producing or marketing the product and that their negligence led to the injury. Negligence is often used as a legal theory along with strict liability.
Types of St. Petersburg product liability cases
Product liability cases can take on many forms:
- Defectively Manufactured Products: When the product that caused injury was defectively manufactured. A defectively manufactured product is flawed because of some error in making it, such as a problem at the factory where it was created.
- Defectively Designed Products: A product’s design is inherently dangerous or defective. Defective design claims provide that an entire line of products is inherently dangerous, regardless of the fact that the product that caused the injury was perfectly made according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
- Failure to Provide Adequate Warnings or Instructions: A failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions about the product’s proper use. These types of claims typically involve a product that is dangerous in some way that’s not obvious to the user or that requires the user to exercise special precautions.
St. Petersburg Products Liability Lawyers
One type of products liability case that causes additional concern is those involving defective child related products. The Insurance Information Institute  provides that recalls of children’s products declined 20 percent in 2012 to 97, the lowest number since 2004, but the number of incidents related to these recalls increased 49 percent. Injuries related to the recalls were up 42 percent, and deaths were up 200 percent from 2011. Children’s product recalls in 2012 totaled over 13 million units.
If you or a child in your life were injured by a defective product, it is important to speak to a St. Petersburg products liability attorney to discuss the different complex legal theories that apply to these types of cases. The attorneys at the Dolman Law Group are skilled products liability attorneys and they are ready to review and evaluate your case to determine what compensation you may be entitled to receive. Contact Dolman Law Group today at 727-222-6922 to schedule your free legal case evaluation and consultation.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712