Products Liability

California product liability law is a special and comprehensive body of laws.  Under California law, a manufacturer, distributor, and retailer are “strictly liable” to consumers for injuries caused by a defective product.  However, “strict liability” does not mean automatic liability.  It is still essential that you, as the party bringing the lawsuit, prove the existence of a product “defect” as defined by California law.

RULES OF PRODUCT LIABILITY

When seeking compensation for an injury caused by a defective product, you must also show that:   

  • The defect existed at the time the product left the manufacturer;
  • You used the product as intended or as is reasonably foreseeable; and
  • You were injured because of the defect in the product.

A distinction is often made between a design defect and a manufacturing defect.   

Hold Manufacturers Liable for their Defects

Enforce the Law

PRODUCT DEFECTS UNDER CALIFORNIA LAW

You prove a “manufacturing defect” exists under California law if you show that “the product differs from the manufacturer’s design or specifications or from other typical units of the same product line.”  (See California Civil Jury Instruction No. 1202.) 

You can prove that “design defect” exists under two different tests. 

One such test is known as the “Consumer Expectation Test.”  Under this test, you can hold the defendant responsible if you can prove you were injured because the product “did not perform as safely as an ordinary consumer would have expected it to perform when used or misused in an intended or reasonably foreseeable way.”  (See California Civil Jury Instruction No. 1203.)

Under the second “design defect” test known as the “Risk-Benefit Test,” you can hold the defendant liable if you show that you were injured as a result of the design of the product and the defendant is unable to prove that “the benefits of the product’s design outweigh the risks of the design.”  (See California Civil Jury Instruction No. 1204.)  

In California, a product can also be found to be defective because of inadequate warnings even if it did not malfunction. 

Understanding how these defects are proven will arm you with the knowledge you need to take action.  If you believe you were injured due to a defective product, don’t hesitate to schedule a free consultation today.  Become informed about every aspect of your case.

San Francisco, CA’s Winning Product Liability Law Firm

You may feel vulnerable over the prospect of becoming involved in a legal proceeding for product liability.  You should not attempt to do so alone.  With expert legal representation, however, you can succeed in holding responsible the corporations that put the defective product on the market without regard of your safety.  Do not hesitate to reach out today for a free initial consultation.