Dangerous or defective products cause thousands of injuries to consumers every year in the United States and in the State of Washington.
Typically, product liability claims are based on theories of negligence, strict liability, breach of contract, breach of warranty or guaranty, or under the Uniform Commercial Code.
In Washington States, we have adopted a more consumer friendly approach to dealing with injuries resulting from defective or dangerous products. This is set out in a statute called the Washington Products Liability Act or the WPLA. RCW 7.72. The WPLA describes the legal set of rules concerning responsibility for the manufacture and/or sale defective or dangerous products to consumers. It sets out rules that sometimes make it easier for an injured person to recover damages.
The WLPA contains two tests for determining whether a product is unreasonably dangerous.
The first test asks, does the product fail to meet the ordinary expectations of the consumer. When a product has an unexpected danger or defect, the product does not meet the ordinary expectations of the consumer. The factors used to determine the ordinary expectations test are the nature of the product, the claimed defect, the relative cost of the product, the potential harm the product may cause, and the cost of eliminating or minimizing the risk.
The second test is known as the risk/utility test. There are several questions asked to determine whether a manufacturer and/or seller is liable. What is the likelihood the product will cause injury or damage similar to that claimed by the plaintiff? Did the seriousness of that injury or damage render any warnings or instructions of the manufacturer inadequate? And, could the manufacturer have provided adequate warnings or instructions?
Potentially liable parties include the product manufacturer, a manufacturer of component parts, the wholesaler, and the retail store that sold the product to the consumer.
The statute of limitations on products liability cases can run as long as 12 years.
Product liability actions are often quite complex, and establishing legal fault requires the assistance of an attorney.
If you or a loved one was injured as a result of a defective or dangerous product, contact The Farber Law Group. At The Farber Law Group, we are experienced in representing the victims of defective or dangerous products and in helping victims recover compensation for their injuries.
Actos & Bladder Cancer