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When we buy something, we trust that the manufacturer or the retailer of the item purchased either made or sold something that was safe to use. But what if the opposite happens? When products are sold to us that are broken or dangerous, serious injuries can result. The Tennessee product liability lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard can help you if you are the victim of an injury caused by an unsafe or dangerous product defect. We can guide you through the process of pursuing the compensation you deserve from any parties that may be responsible. Since product defects can be found in a variety of items, there can be multiple parties who may be held liable. Our firm will handle these complex claims for you, ensuring you get the compensation you deserve.
Product Liability in Tennessee
Product liability refers to the manufacturer or retailer of a product being held liable for placing a defective product in the hands of the buyer. The responsibility of the defective product that injured someone sits with the sellers of the item who are in the distribution chain. A product should meet the expectations of the consumer and when it has an unexpected or unknown defect, the product no longer meets consumer expectations.
Claims of product liability in Tennessee tend to fall into three separate categories: manufacturing defects, design defects, and failures to warn. Determining which category a defective product falls under goes a long way toward figuring out the responsible party.
Manufacturing defects are flaws that occur in the assembly of a product. These problems occur in specific items in a line of products, resulting in items that are different from what the manufacturer intended for products in that line. Someone who was injured by a manufacturing defect only needs proof that the defect was present at the time the product left the manufacturer’s control.
A design defect is a fundamental flaw in a product’s design that makes the product dangerous to a consumer. To hold the at-fault party responsible, you must establish the product’s design was unsafe before being manufactured, the danger was obvious, and the manufacturer had the option to come up with a better design.
Failure to warn a consumer of a potential defect will bring forth a claim if the manufacturer fails to provide proper warning or labeling. When a warning is not provided, inherent and nonobvious risks can lead to serious injury. Failure to warn consumers properly is common to drug and medication labels. These errors can have devastating health effects.
Who is Liable in a Claim?
The at-fault party in a product liability claim in Tennessee can be any party that manufactured, sold, or marketed the defective product to a consumer. You can ultimately bring forth a claim against any party directly participated in delivering the product to you. This can include the product designer, manufacturer, the person(s) who install the product, wholesaler, and the store that sold you the item.
Claims of product liability are often determined by strict liability, which holds product manufacturers liable for their products regardless of negligence by a certain party or not. Under the laws of strict liability, one does not need to prove the defect was intentional, rather the actions caused you harm.
Strict liability also applies to businesses that regularly allow consumers to rent a defective product on a consistent basis. This includes retail stores that are well-established as a consumer-oriented company. However, strict liability laws do apply to a third-party seller.
Let Our Tennessee Product Liability Lawyers Help You
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, the product liability lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard can help you secure the compensation you deserve for an injury that wasn’t your fault. We represent individuals injured by defective products throughout Tennessee and look forward to helping you and your family. Contact our office today to set up a consultation.