A products liability lawsuit can threaten the financial viability of an otherwise well-established business. This is because not only are the damages that the business claimed to suffer in these cases extensive but many product-liability lawsuits also involve multiple plaintiffs. Therefore, even what seems like a reasonable settlement can end up costing a business far more than it ever expected to pay.
There are other forms of harm that can come to a business from one of these kinds of cases, too. For example, press coverage of a products liability claim can paint a business in a bad light, thereby ruining any goodwill that has been built over the last several years. This can affect revenues far into the future.
How to defend against a product liability lawsuit
With that in mind, a business that has been accused of designing, manufacturing, advertising, or selling a defective product needs to know how to aggressively defend itself. Fortunately, these businesses may have several legal strategies that can be implemented. Let’s look at some of them here:
- Product misuse: A business shouldn’t be held accountable when its product causes an injury but only after the product was used in a way that was never intended. In some instances, a court will require the business to show that it never intended and could not have anticipated that the product would be used in the way that it was when the plaintiff was injured. This means that the foreseeability of the product’s use must be considered, as that’s one aspect that the court will analyze when determining whether the plaintiff properly used the product.
- Modification: Similar to product misuse, modification of a product can bar a plaintiff from recovering compensation for damages suffered. This is because modifications to a product often affect the product’s safety, thereby rendering the product dangerous.
- Assumption of risk: Some products are inherently dangerous. Under these circumstances, consumers are aware of the risks associated with using the product. In these situations, a business shouldn’t be held liable for injuries that are caused by those inherent risks that the consumer willingly took on when they agreed to use the product.
- Comparative negligence: Depending on the facts of the event in question, the plaintiff may have been partially to blame for the injuries suffered. If this is the case, the business may be able to reduce the amount of compensation that the plaintiff recovers. A business may even be able to bar the plaintiff’s recovery entirely if the evidence supports such a finding.
- Statute of limitations: Product liability cases have to be brought forth within a specified period of time. If a plaintiff fails to do so, the business can file a motion to dismiss the claim.
There may be other defense options available to a business, such as lack of standing, that can prove effective. So, businesses that are facing one of these claims should consider seeking out competent legal representation.
Don’t let the threat of a product liability claim derail your business
The stakes are high in a product liability case. That’s why your business needs aggressive representation. If you want a firm that is experienced in handling these kinds of cases and knows how to use the law to your advantage, please keep researching your representation options to ensure that you’re choosing the firm that’s right for you. We hope that by reading our website, you’ll learn more about our firm’s successes and what we have to offer our clients.