Consumers have the right to file a claim if a product causes them injury. In fact, there are three types of product liability claims they can file: negligence, strict liability, and breach of warranty. If your company is facing a product liability lawsuit, it’s important to know which defense strategies have been successful in past litigation cases.
The Plaintiff Is the Responsible Party
This is the most common tactic used to fight product liability claims. For it to be effective, your defense team must be able to prove that the plaintiff did not use the product as intended. For example, a plaintiff who uses a clothing iron to straighten their hair cannot hold the manufacturer responsible for any injuries. If the plaintiff is aware that they misused your product, you can win the case based on an “assumption of risk.” By proving the plaintiff’s negligence, you can decrease or even eliminate possible damages.
The Product Design Did Not Cause the Injury
This defense strategy's success depends on your team's ability to prove that the product was merely incidental to the plaintiff's injury. For instance, if a plaintiff is injured because they dropped and caught a hot clothing iron, the product is not at fault. It’s the action that is responsible for the injury, not the product. In this scenario, the manufacturer could not have been expected to predict or prevent the injury based on their product's intended design.
The Plaintiff Altered the Product
Your company manufactured and supplied a product based on a tested and approved design. You can’t be held responsible for an injury if the plaintiff made substantial alterations to the product’s design.
Statutes of Limitations
In South Carolina, a plaintiff has three years to file a product liability claim if their case involves personal injury, wrongful death, or property damage. If a plaintiff fails to file within this timeframe, the court may refuse to hear their case. You can also use the statute of limitations in your defense and have the case dismissed.
Pursue Legal Justice
Contact Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC if you are facing a product liability lawsuit. Our Charleston product liability defense lawyers have the skills and experience to offer exceptional legal representation.
Call Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC at (843) 968-0886 to schedule your free consultation. We offer defense representation to clients across the United States!