The following is an outline of the basics behind the two theories upon which product liability suits are usually based, along with common defenses used by manufacturers.
At the core of many products liability lawsuits is the Doctrine of Strict Liability. When applied, a manufacturer does not have to be negligent to be found liable for harm resulting from the manufacturer’s product to a consumer. This doctrine imposes a duty to ensure that a product is safe, and any harm resulting from use of the product means the manufacturer failed in that duty. A plaintiff who files a strict liability case may allege there was a failure to warn of the danger in using the product or a defect in the product’s design or manufacture.