Product Liability: Legal Definition

Product liability refers to holding a manufacturer of a product legally responsible for injury or damage caused by the products they make.

Parties that contributed to creating or distributing the product may also be held liable for a consumer’s injury or property damage. These parties could include a parts supplier, the product’s assembler, a wholesaler, or the retailer that sold the product.

Product Liability Claims

Consumers injured by a defective or unreasonably dangerous product can pursue compensation for their injuries.

There are three types of product liability claims: strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty.

Strict Liability

Strict liability places responsibility for a defective product on the manufacturer, distributor, or seller. Plaintiffs who file strict liability claims must show that:

  • The product had a defect
  • The defect caused the plaintiff’s injury
  • The defect made the product unreasonably dangerous

Generally, there are three types of product defects for which a manufacturer may be held liable:

  • Design Defect. A design defect involves a faulty or flawed design that makes the product unreasonably dangerous to use.
  • Manufacturing Defect. Manufacturing defects involve flaws or errors that occur while making the product. The error during manufacturing is what makes a product dangerous to use.
  • Marketing Defect. Marketing defects involve allegations of a manufacturer marketing its product without adequately warning consumers about the dangers of the product or labeling the product as a high-risk device.


A plaintiff can accuse a manufacturer of negligence for failing to use reasonable care in such areas as:

  • Designing the product
  • Selecting materials for the product
  • Testing the product
  • Providing adequate warnings or instructions for the product
  • Failing to warn of possible defects

Besides the manufacturer, a plaintiff can hold the distributor and seller of the product liable for injuries.

Express or Implied Warranty

An express or implied warranty is a guarantee made about a product. Consumers rely on these warranties when deciding whether to purchase or use the product.

Example of Product Liability Claims

Patients who underwent hernia repair with surgical mesh are filing product liability lawsuits nationwide. These lawsuits allege that the hernia mesh products failed or caused serious injuries due to the complications of a misplaced hernia mesh.

Hernia mesh failure symptoms can appear long after surgery, and many patients are finding that they have hernia mesh problems years later. The complaints further allege the hernia mesh devices are defectively designed and manufactured and are unreasonably dangerous because of the manufacturers’ negligence.

As a result, plaintiffs are seeking compensation for their injuries and other damages with help from hernia mesh complications lawsuit lawyers.

Contact the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC

The Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC represent people who have been injured by faulty drugs and medical devices. We help individuals and their loved ones pursue compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.

To learn more about how we can help you, call us today at 865-546-1111.