What Do I Have to Prove to Win My Defective Products Liability Case?

defective products liability

The Tennessee Product Liability Act, passed by the Tennessee General Assembly, controls defective product cases in our State. Generally, in order to win a product liability case, you must prove the product was either “defective” or “unreasonably dangerous”. The statutory definitions of those terms are as follows:

  • “Defective” means a condition of a product that renders it unsafe for normal or anticipatable handling and consumption.
  • “Unreasonably dangerous” means a product is dangerous to an extent beyond that which would be contemplated by the ordinary consumer who purchases it, with the ordinary knowledge common to the community as to its characteristics, or that the product because of its dangerous condition would not be put on the market by a reasonably prudent manufacturer or seller, assuming that the manufacturer or seller knew of its dangerous condition.

After you prove the faulty product was either "defective or "unreasonably dangerous" you must also prove causation. While volumes have been written about causation, in simplest terms, you need to establish the defect in the product actually caused your injuries in order to satisfy this requirement.  For example, if you were involved in a motor vehicle accident, and you claim your vehicle was defective because the airbags failed to deploy, you must show an airbag deployment would have prevented or lessened your injuries. If your primary injuries were burns, it will be difficult to prove the airbag would have made a difference. On the other hand, if you sustained head and chest injuries, it will be easier to prove the failure of the airbags to deploy caused your injuries.

The Tennessee Product Liability Act also contains rebuttable presumptions for manufacturers who comply with federal, state or administrative regulations and other defenses which must be carefully analyzed in the context of your particular case.  Your choice of lawyer is very important in all cases but especially in product liability cases.  These cases are almost always complex because of the engineering and legal issues and product manufacturers typically mount a substantial defense because of the precedential nature of these cases.  For example, if Tom Smith runs a red light and causes an accident, that case is just about that single accident.  In a product liability case, an adverse result can impact thousands of products. 

For all of these reasons, your choice of lawyer is critical.  You need an experienced product liability lawyer.  Since 2007, Best Lawyers has recognized John Day as one of the best lawyers in the field of Product Liability Litigation, and he has written several books discussing product liability law and the changes brought about by Tennessee's tort reform legislation. I

If you would like to schedule a private and free consultation to discuss your potential product liability case, please contact us online or call us at one of the numbers below. Our award-winning attorneys handle all defective and faulty product liability cases on a contingency basis. So, you only pay us if we recover money for you.

Nashville: 615-669-3993

Murfreesboro: 615-867-9900

Brentwood: 615-742-4880

Toll-Free: 866-812-8787

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