Product liability claims in Illinois

If you suffer harm because of a person’s or a company’s actions, you may be entitled to legal compensation. Dealing with damages due to a defective product involves several aspects that differ from other types of personal injury claims.

Pursuing recourse for injuries from a defective product can involve complex questions. An attorney with solid experience in this area can give you more extensive information and advice based on the facts of your case.

Strict liability

Generally, product liability cases operate under a system of strict liability. In most other types of personal injury cases, such as car accidents and malpractice suits, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant behaved negligently in causing the accident that led to the injury. However, in a product liability case, what you must show is that the product was unreasonably dangerous and that this unreasonable danger caused the injury. You do not have to prove anyone acted negligently in causing the product to be unreasonably dangerous.

Types of defects

Product defects can take several forms. Manufacturing defects happen from the improper making of a products. Design defects mean production followed specifications, but the specifications were faulty. Finally, marketing defects can arise when the accompanying instructions or labels contain errors or omit important warnings or usage information. Any of these defects can make a product unreasonably dangerous.

Whom can you sue

Typically, you do not buy products from the company that makes them. Instead, there may be an entire chain of intermediaries between the manufacturer and the store where you purchase the item in question. Because the average consumer will likely encounter difficulty in untangling this chain, the law allows plaintiffs to sue retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and anyone else in the chain.

The defendants may then submit an affidavit identifying the manufacturer. When the plaintiff sues the manufacturer, Illinois law provides the dismissal of other defendants in most cases. However, if a different defendant also bears actual responsibility, it must remain a party to the suit; for example, a retailer who sells the product knowing about the dangerous defect will probably remain on the hook.