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Determining Who To Sue In Defective Product Liability Claims

December 27, 2013 | Category: Defective Products | Share

Defective products are those products that do not carry adequate warnings, do not include sufficient or complete manufacturer instructions for the use of the product, or those that are unreasonably dangerous. Fort Myers personal injury attorney Randall Spivey will tell you that the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission monitors the injuries and/or deaths that occur due to defective consumer products, and unfortunately, the statistics are troubling.

Whenever a lawsuit is brought with respect to a defective product, injured parties should be aware that there can be a number of parties involved in the case. That is why it is imperative for injured individuals to work with knowledgeable attorneys who will ensure that all appropriate parties are held responsible under the law.

Identifying the Chain of Distribution

Once an injured individual seeks the services of an attorney to help him or her pursue a claim, the attorney will likely seek to include all possible parties that fall within the "chain of distribution" for the product. The chain of distribution is the path that the product takes from the manufacturer to the consumer. Your Fort Myers personal injury attorney will tell you that the chain typically starts with the manufacturer, which can be either a small business or a huge corporation. Additionally, if the defective product is part of a bigger product, there might be an additional manufacturer responsible for the defective part at issue.

Another party included in the chain of distribution is the retailer that actually sold the defective product. It is important for injured parties to realize that even if they were not the product user or the original purchaser of the product, the retailer can still be held legally responsible for the injuries sustained. Moreover, the "middlemen" might be held responsible for those injuries as well. Typical middlemen include suppliers, distributors and wholesalers.

Corporate Defendants

There are times when the middlemen, retailers and manufacturers that are part of the distribution chain are all corporations. Under product liability law, corporations are equal to people and can be held legally liable in the same manner that individuals can be held responsible. But companies can go through many transformations and changes from year to year; so there might also be successor companies that "inherit" legal liability for the original company's participation in the defective product's distribution chain.

No Negligence Required

The laws that govern defective products do not require an injured person to prove negligence on the part of the manufacturer. Although injured parties can still allege a defendant's negligence, he or she can also allege strict liability against the parties in the chain of distribution.

Determining who all the potentially responsible parties are in a product liability lawsuit can be quite tricky and complex; however, taking the time to fully follow the chain of distribution can increase an injured party's chances of obtaining the best financial recovery possible. 

If you or your loved one has sustained injuries from a dangerous or defective product, you are encouraged to contact a Fort Myers personal injury attorney at The Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, PA as soon as possible. Let us help you hold all responsible parties liable for your injuries.

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