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Setting The Standard In Personal Injury Law

How Illinois courts determine whether products are dangerous

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.

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