The Role of Expert Witnesses in Product Liability Cases

The Role of Expert Witnesses in Product Liability Cases

In terms of potential defenses against these claims, manufacturers often argue against design defect allegations by asserting compliance with industry standards at the time of manufacture or claiming unforeseeable risks associated with alternative designs proposed by plaintiffs’ experts. For manufacturing defect claims, defendants may try to shift blame to suppliers or argue that the defect was caused by misuse, alteration, or failure to follow instructions. It is worth noting that some jurisdictions apply a strict liability standard in product liability cases. Under this standard, manufacturers can be held liable for injuries caused by their products regardless of whether they were negligent or at fault. This means that even if a manufacturer took all reasonable precautions during design and manufacturing processes, they may still be held responsible for any harm caused by defects in their products. In conclusion, both design defects and manufacturing defects can lead to product liability claims. Design defects refer to inherent flaws in the way a product is designed, while manufacturing defects occur during production resulting in faulty units being made.

Understanding these distinctions is crucial when determining who may be held liable for injuries caused by defective products and establishing potential defenses against such claims.” Product liability cases are legal disputes that arise when a person is injured or harmed by a defective product. These cases can be complex and involve multiple parties, including manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. One important aspect of product liability law is the statute of repose. The statute of repose sets a time limit on when a lawsuit can be filed for injuries caused by a defective product. Unlike the statute of limitations, which starts running from the date of injury or discovery of harm, the statute of repose begins at the time the product was first sold or put into use. The purpose behind having a statute of repose is to provide certainty and finality to manufacturers and sellers. It recognizes that products have a finite lifespan and should not be subject to potential lawsuits indefinitely.

By setting an expiration date for claims related to older products, it encourages companies to innovate and improve their designs over time without fear of perpetual litigation. In most jurisdictions, the length of the statute varies depending on factors such as the type of product involved and its expected useful life. For example, law firm some states may have statutes ranging from 10-15 years for construction equipment while others may set it at 20 years for medical devices. However, there are exceptions to these general rules. Some states have enacted what is known as “”discovery-based”” statutes where the clock starts ticking only after an injured party discovers or reasonably should have discovered their injury was caused by a defect in the product. Another exception applies in cases involving latent defects – defects that are not immediately apparent but become evident after prolonged use or exposure. In such instances, some jurisdictions allow plaintiffs additional time beyond the standard statutory period to file their claims.

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