Utah Strict Liability Laws for Defective Products
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Consumers should be able to trust that the items they purchase are safe when used as intended. Sadly, products are sold with defects and malfunctions all the time, and many people have endured catastrophic injuries as a result of these defects. Accident survivors can get justice and hold the liable parties accountable by pursuing product liability lawsuits.
Every state’s laws are different, but Utah has strict liability defective product laws in place that are designed to protect injury victims and punish negligent parties. When you successfully pursue a product liability claim, you could be compensated for the various ways your life has been affected by what you’ve been through.
But your lawyer will first need to prove based on a preponderance of the evidence that there was a product defect or malfunction of some kind, and that the manufacturer is responsible for that defect.
Defective product design occurs when the actual design of the product is inherently dangerous. A perfect example of a defective design could be a child’s toy that is made with parts small enough for the child to choke on.
When a design defect causes severe injury, it affects every product sold, not only the one that caused your injuries. This will usually result in a recall of the product, and consumers will often have the opportunity to return the product or be compensated for the value of the product, even though they may not have been injured by the product yet.
Having appropriate warning labels is essential for the vast majority of products. Failure to provide adequate warnings can render a product defective and leave the manufacturer open to product liability lawsuits.
You may have heard of the infamous personal injury case of Liebeck vs. McDonald’s, where an elderly woman suffered third-degree burns after hot coffee spilled on her legs in the drive-through. McDonald’s was using coffee heated to temperatures well above industry standards, but this lawsuit also led to McDonald’s and most other major restaurants labeling their cups with “Caution: Contents Hot” labels.
This is just one example of how failure to warn can lead to debilitating injuries and leave the product manufacturer accountable for these injuries.
Manufacturing defects are not as common in product liability lawsuits as you might think. A manufacturing defect refers to a problem in the manufacture of a product. This could be a problem with the design of the item, the materials used to produce the product, creating the product, or even the safety protocols in place to check the product before it leaves the manufacturer for distribution.
Manufacturing defects will typically only affect a limited number of the product produced. Along the way, if a defective product is found, the manufacturer will typically replace it, as they likely had no intention of sending out a defective product. But intent doesn’t matter when someone suffers critical injuries by the few defective products that the manufacturer was unable to catch.
If you or your child suffered debilitating injuries caused by a product malfunction and you would like to explore your legal options for financial recovery, you’ve come to the right place. Call a dedicated product liability lawyer at Craig Swapp & Associates by phone at 1-800-404-9000, or reach out to our office through the quick contact form included at the bottom of this page.