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Strict Liability and Negligence Theories

Navigation:  Home > Personal Injury > Strict Liability and Negligence Theories


Strict liability is the legal principle that a person or company which sells a product in a "defective condition" that is unreasonably dangerous to the ordinary user may be liable for any resulting property damage or physical injuries. The defect may be in the product's design or manufacturing, in the product's container or packaging, or in the instructions or warning necessary for the product's safe use. In a strict liability case, the injured person is not required to prove the manufacturer or seller was negligent.

In order to prevail in a products liability action brought under a theory of either strict liability or negligence, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the injuries complained of were caused by a defective product whose defect existed at the time of injury and at the time in which the product left a manufacturer's control.

In order to recover under a negligence theory against a product manufacturer, a plaintiff must show that the goods were unreasonably dangerous either for the use to which they would ordinarily be put or for some other reasonably foreseeable purpose, and that the unreasonably dangerous condition existed when the goods left the manufacturer's hands. Thus, a manufacturer owes a duty to supply a product fit for the ordinary purposes for which it is to be used and safe notwithstanding a reasonably foreseeable misuse that could cause injury.

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