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What Is Product Liability?

“Product liability” generally refers to severe injuries caused by dangerous products. Product liability is different than negligence (carelessness): the maker or seller of a product is liable for injuries caused by a defective product, even if the maker or seller was not negligent.

Product liability cases are usually more complicated than ordinary personal injury cases. You are usually dealing with a large company or commercial insurance company with abundant resources. Very few attorneys will take on product liability cases; we love them.

Ohio Law Series: Product Liability (General Principles)

The Ohio Revised Code provides four theories of recovery under the product liability statutes:

  • Defective manufacture or construction (RC 2307.74)
  • Defective design or formulation (RC 2307.75)
  • Defective due to inadequate warning or instruction (RC 2307.76)
  • Defective because it did not conform to a representation made by its manufacturer (RC 2307.77)

Defective manufacture or construction (RC 2307.74)

A product is defective in manufacture or construction if, when it left the control of its manufacturer, it deviated in a material way from the design specifications, formula, or performance standards of the manufacturer, or from otherwise identical units manufactured to the same design specifications, formula, or performance standards. A product may be defective in manufacture or construction as described in this section even though its manufacturer exercised all possible care in its manufacture or construction.

Product defective in design or formulation (RC 2307.75)

A product is defective if the risks associated with its design exceed the benefits of the design. The statute delineates what is intended by risks and benefits, and the feasibility of alternative designs.

Inadequate warning or instruction (RC 2307.76)

A product is defective due to inadequate warning or instruction if:

(1) It is defective due to inadequate warning or instruction at the time of marketing if, when it left the control of its manufacturer, both of the following applied:

(a) The manufacturer knew or, in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known about a risk that is associated with the product and that allegedly caused harm for which the claimant seeks to recover compensatory damages;

(b) The manufacturer failed to provide the warning or instruction that a manufacturer exercising reasonable care would have provided concerning that risk, in light of the likelihood that the product would cause harm of the type for which the claimant seeks to recover compensatory damages and in light of the likely seriousness of that harm.

A manufacturer need not warn or instruct about an open and obvious risk, or a risk that is a matter of common knowledge.

Product does not conform to a representation made by its manufacturer (RC 2307.77)

RC 2307.77 Product conforming to representation made by manufacturer

A product is defective if, when it left the control of its manufacturer, it did not conform to a representation made by the manufacturer. A product may be defective because it did not conform to a representation even though its manufacturer did not act fraudulently, recklessly, or negligently in making the representation.

If you or a loved one are injured by a dangerous product, call the lawyers at Beausay & Nichols for a free consultation. We have handled many product liability cases, and will hold the manufacturer accountable for selling a defective product.

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Beausay & Nichols Law Firm provides professional legal services in Columbus and all of Ohio. We get exceptional results for our clients (see Results) and look forward to working with you.

Contact us today through email or by calling 614-LAW-FIRM. We offer free consultations and work on a contingency basis. You do not owe us anything unless we win.