Any product sold to Illinois consumers can be dangerous under certain circumstances. State laws outline the proof required in product liability cases against manufacturers. In some cases, a plaintiff must show a product maker's negligence was responsible for an injury or death, while other lawsuits are based on a theory of strict liability.
A strict liability claim is dependent upon an "implied warranty." A manufacturer is liable for making products that are "reasonably suitable" for use by consumers. A product that is made and sold with a defect is considered a dangerous product.
A jury makes a product liability determination by examining evidence presented by the accuser or plaintiff. The plaintiff's job is to present proof damage or an injury was linked to a defect, present in the product before it reached the public marketplace. A plaintiff is required to show the defective product was the primary cause of the injury and was not used in an abnormal way.
A defect does not have to be part of the manufacturing process to qualify as dangerous. The product's design or information – instructions and warnings -- provided to consumers may be defective. More than one defect may be possible in the same product liability case.
A manufacturer can be faulted for providing inadequate information unless the defendant was unaware of a dangerous product use. For instance, it would be far-fetched for a manufacturer to foresee that a consumer would use a lawn mower to clear small rocks from a driveway.
A manufacturer also cannot be held accountable when a danger is obvious to the majority of consumers. For example, it may not be necessary for the manufacturer to warn customers a sharp knife has the potential to cause a serious cut.
Product liability laws cannot be explained simply in a single blog. It's advisable to have an attorney assess any claim you might have for damages.