If I am Hurt by a Defective Product, Who is Responsible?

defective airbag

If you or a loved one has been hurt by a defective product, you certainly want to see all at-fault parties held responsible for your injuries and losses. Without a doubt, the manufacturer of the product can be held liable for injuries caused by a defective product assuming you prove your case. In addition, a component supplier can be held responsible. For instance, if you were involved in a motor vehicle accident and the airbag failed to deploy because it was defective, you could pursue both the manufacturer of your vehicle and the company that supplied the airbag system to the vehicle manufacturer.

Until recent tort reform legislation was enacted, the seller of the product was also typically included in the lawsuit. However, the liability of a seller has been greatly reduced. After the recent tort reform legislation, in order to hold a seller responsible for placing a defective product in the stream of commerce, an injury victim must prove:

  1. The seller exercised substantial control over that aspect of the design, testing, manufacture, packaging or labeling of the product that caused the injury;
  2. The seller altered or modified the product and the alteration or modification was a substantial factor in causing the injury;
  3. The seller gave an express warranty;
  4. The manufacturer is not subject to service of process (This generally relates to overseas manufacturers)
  5. The manufacturer has been judicially declared insolvent i.e., bankrupt.

Each year, it seems the Tennessee General Assembly feels the need to enact higher hurdles for injury victims to cross in order to obtain the compensation they deserve because of defective products. As such, it is imperative for injury victims to hire a lawyer who is well-versed in Tennessee’s product liability laws. For every year from 2007 to 2014, Best Lawyers has named John Day as one of the best lawyers in the field of Products Liability Litigation. John has also been repeatedly asked to testify in front of the Legislature about the tort reform legislation, and he has written a book, Compendium of Tennessee Tort Reform Statutes and Related Case Law, which explains the changes wrought by tort reform.

If you would like to discuss your defective products liability claim with John Day, please contact us online or call us at 615-742-4880 or toll-free at 866.812.8787 for a free, no-obligation consultation. We will review your case with you, answer your questions and explain your legal options in clear terms. And because we handle all of our defective product cases on a contingency basis, we only get paid if we recover money for you.

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