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Manufacturers Have Strict Liability with Product Defects

Posted on in Personal Injury

Manufacturers Have Strict Liability with Product DefectsWhen a defective or unexpectedly dangerous product injures you, you can file a product liability lawsuit to collect personal injury compensation. Most product liability cases in Illinois fall under the theory of strict liability, which means that you do not have to prove that the manufacturer was negligent in order to hold it liable. Before you file a product liability lawsuit, you should make sure that your case meets the qualifications under Illinois law.

Product Liability Types

There are three categories of product liability claims, each of which blames the injury on a different defect with the product:

  • A design defect means that the faulty design of a product makes it inherently dangerous to consumers;
  • A manufacturing defect means that the manufacturer did not build the product to design specifications or used faulty materials; and
  • A marketing defect means that the instructions that came with the product did not warn consumers about dangers in using the product that would not be obvious to a normal person.

You will file your lawsuit against the manufacturer in most cases because it is likely responsible for the defect. You can include the business that sold you the product or the product wholesaler if they knew about the defect or somehow caused it.

Statute of Limitations

As with all personal injury cases, you have two years after your injury occurred to file a lawsuit. You can extend the deadline if you were not immediately aware of your injury. For instance, a chronic illness from a tainted product may take time to show symptoms. However, Illinois also has a statute of repose, after which a manufacturer or seller cannot be held liable for a product. The deadline is the earlier date between:

  • 12 years after a manufacturer sold the product; and
  • 10 years after anyone other than the manufacturer sold the product.

Burden of Proof

A product-related injury qualifies as a strict liability case as long as you can prove that:

  • A defect in the product caused your injury;
  • The defect made the product unreasonably dangerous; and
  • The defect existed at the time you were sold the product.

The manufacturer will not be liable for a product if your modifications to the product caused your injury.

Contact a McHenry County Personal Injury Attorney

Injuries caused by product defects can be severe and sometimes deadly. Unfortunately, many major manufacturers have experienced defense teams that can shoot down ill-prepared lawsuits. A Crystal Lake, Illinois, personal injury attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can present a solid product liability case that will hold a manufacturer responsible or force it to settle. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.



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