Negligence and Products Liability

As consumers, many of us tend to have a certain blind faith when it comes to the products we purchase. Unfortunately, some products have defects that may result in serious injuries or even fatalities. While most manufacturers and retailers are reputable and make an effort to ensure that their products are safe, this is not always the case. Some products are either placed on the market with known defects or left on the market even after manufacturing faults are known.

Understanding Product Liability in Chicago

In general, products liability cases involve products that are unreasonably dangerous and have resulted in serious injury or death. In Illinois, a manufacturer of a defective or dangerous product may be held responsible for the following:

  • Design defects that made the product dangerous
  • Manufacturing defects that caused the injury
  • Failing to inform the public or those who purchased the item of potential issues
  • Failing to either remove the product from the market or correct the defects once they became known

Product Liability Law in Chicago

Under Illinois product liability law, an individual has the right to recover damages for injuries sustained as a result of a defective product. In Illinois, products liability does not just apply to consumer products, either. If a person is working in a manufacturing plant, for example, and they attempted to free a jammed machine part and the machine started up without warning, injuring them, they would have a possible case against their employer and the manufacturer of that particular machine. Additional products liability cases involve many common products and items, such as the following:

  • Household products
  • Automobile design
  • Car seats
  • Unsafe toys
  • Farm machinery
  • Pharmaceutical drugs
  • Defective cribs

Defective Products Claims in Chicago

According to Illinois law, a manufacturer may be held liable for injury or death as a result of a product defect under three legal theories:

  1. Breach of warranty – Involves a claim that a product defect violates the manufacturer’s warranty.
  2. Negligence – Includes design flaws, inadequate warnings, labels, or instructions, and failure to issue a recall notice.
  3. Strict liability – Requires proof that a product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s hands and that the existing defect caused injury.

Misrepresentation in Advertising

In Illinois, a consumer may also have a products liability case stemming from misrepresentation in advertising if an ad created a false sense of security and safety. This usually involves purposely drawing attention away from the potential dangers associated with a product. Misrepresentation usually falls under theories referred to as breach of warranty or strict tort liability.

Negligence and product liability cases in Illinois serve two basic purposes. The first is to provide people with fair compensation for any harm they or a loved one suffered as a result of a defective product. The second is to discourage the manufacturer at fault and other manufacturers from marketing products with similar defects. A Chicago lawyer specializing in negligence and products liability can help consumers sort through their options when taking on a manufacturer over a defective product.