If a defective product has caused you injury, you might be entitled to file a lawsuit based on strict product liability. Strict liability means that liability is assigned to a party, in this case the manufacturer or retailer, without having to prove fault or negligence on the part of that party.
Who can file a lawsuit?
You might be able to avail yourself of a legal remedy even if you are not the original buyer of the product. If you did not buy the product but used the product and were injured, then you can file a lawsuit. If you are a bystander who was injured by another person’s use of a defective product, you too might be entitled to a legal remedy.
Not as clean cut is determining if you are entitled to file a lawsuit if you bought a reconditioned product. Different jurisdictions have different rules for such cases. Usually, strict product liability does not apply and the party that reconditioned the product must be found negligent in what they did.
Who can you file the lawsuit against?
You can file a lawsuit against anyone that falls within the chain of distribution. The obvious parties are the manufacturer and the retailer.
Strict Product Liability
To establish strict liability, the following need to be shown:
- The product had a defect that was “unreasonably dangerous” that caused your injury and the defect resulted from the design, manufacture or handling of the product;
- The product was used as it was intended or in a way it was foreseeable to be used; and
- There were no substantial changes to the product that affected the performance of the product.
The defending party may bring up the defense that you were aware of the defect. If you were made aware of the defect, you may forfeit the action.
If you were injured by a reconditioned product, it is likely that you will have to prove negligence on the part of the party that reconditioned the product. To prove negligence, you need to establish the following:
- The party that reconditioned the product owed a duty to provide a product free of defects;
- The party breached that duty;
- The party’s actions caused your injuries which were foreseeable by that party; and
- There were actual damages.
Besides strict liability and negligence, you may be able to find legal relief if you believe that you were a victim of misleading advertising. If you were a target of misleading advertising, you can file a claim based on misrepresentation. To prove misrepresentation, the following elements are necessary:
- The party made a false representation about the product;
- The party knew that the representation was false or was reckless in not ascertaining its truth;
- You relied on the false representation the party made; and
- You suffered damages as a result.
If you have been injured or otherwise damaged by a defective product or misleading advertising, you should know what legal remedies might be available to you. Talk to an attorney at our Oklahoma office about what course of action is available and how to pursue it.