Why were product liability cases rare before 1916?

Posted February 7th, 2021 by .

Categories: Product Liability.

Product liability cases come about when a consumer uses a product and gets injured or harmed by the product. When this happens, you have the right to sue for damages arising from the harmful effects of using the product. Therefore, the manufacturer or seller of the product is held responsible for selling defective products and therefore have to compensate the victim.

Some product defects can be particularly harmful to your health, and it is crucial to seek a personal injury attorney to help you in your case. For instance, defective pharmaceutical products could result in adverse medical conditions, and compensation would go a long way in ensuring that you start your recovery journey.

Please contact our Union City Personal Injury Attorney Anthony Carbone if you suspect foul play in a product you have been using.

Though product liability cases are common in the modern world, they were traditionally rare in the USA. So why were product liability cases rare before 1916? Read on to find out.

Why product liability cases were rare

Before 1916, cases involving injuries arising from defective products were guided by the doctrine of privity. This doctrine stipulated that a victim could only sue for damages if the negligent party were the party involving the product’s transaction.

This meant that a product manufacturer could not be sued if they did not sell directly to the plaintiff. For instance, if a manufacturer sold a product to a retail store, which was sold to the victim, the manufacturer was insulated from taking responsibility for the damages resulting from the use of the product. This scenario often left the victim without a tort remedy since it was not the retailer’s negligence that caused the harm.

What changed?

The privity doctrine was abolished after the case of MACPHERSON V. BUICK MOTOR CO., 217 N.Y. 382, 111 N.E. 1050 (N.Y. 1916) when it was made clear that lack of privity from the negligent party was not a defense. This effectively meant that a manufacturer was not insulated from responsibility if a defective product resulted in harm to a consumer.

Types of product liability lawsuits

There are different situations that harm can occur from using a defective product. The significant types of product liability lawsuits include:

  •   Failure to provide safety warnings and instructions on products such as prescription medication.
  •   Design defects where a victim will prove that injury was caused by a defect in a product’s design.
  •   Manufacturing or production flaw that results in an unsafe product leading to injury. For instance, a ladder that is defective can lead to serious injury when in use.

What our lawyer will do for your case

When injured due to a defective product, it is essential to consult with a personal injury attorney who will help you in your case. Our lawyer will:

  •   The advice you on the best cause of action
  •   Gather the necessary evidence that will help you in your case
  •   Mediate on your behalf
  •   File the lawsuit to seek compensation if mediation fails

Contact our personal injury lawyer and get the assistance you require to get justice in your case. Anthony Carbone has the necessary experience and expertise to fight for your rights, whether in an out-of-court settlement or a trial.

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