It is an unfortunate reality that sometimes the objects that make up an essential part of our daily lives, such as cars, medical devices, safety equipment, and toys, cause us harm. If you are injured due to the use of a defective product, you have the option to file a liability claim against the manufacturer or seller. This is not an easy feat, however, and making a product liability claim can prove a long and tedious process.
Each state has its own liability law. North Carolina does not go by the “strict liability law” in cases of product liability. Instead, North Carolina applies a negligence standard to any cases involving product liability which means that the party making the liability claim has the responsibility of proving the other party’s negligence.
Proving a Product Liability Claim
The victim must provide evidence that the malfunction was caused by the way the product was designed, that consumers were not warned by the manufacturer or seller of the possible risks of using the product, or that the product did not come with adequate instructions for safe use.
Defense from the Manufacturers
In a product liability case, the seller or manufacturer will come up with a defense in an attempt to prove that they do not hold responsibility for the injury. They will likely try to prove that:
- The injury was caused by the consumer’s own act of negligence, such as using the product in a way that it was not intended for.
- The product received changes from the original state in which it was sold, which affected its performance.
- The consumer was aware of the defect and proceeded to use the product regardless.
- The liability claim was made after the time period outlined by the statute of limitations and the statute of repose.
According to the statute of limitations, the injured party must file the claim, this is within three years of the injury or loss. Additionally, the claim must also be made within 12 years of the purchase of the product, according to the statute of repose.
Sealed Container Defense
If the seller had no opportunity to examine the product for safety, such as if the product was sold in a sealed container, the seller is not considered responsible for any injuries caused by a defect. This defense is not valid if the damage to the product was caused by the seller or manufacturer, if the manufacturer is not under North Carolina’s jurisdiction, or if the court finds the manufacturer to be insolvent.
Who Can File a Liability Claim Lawsuit?
The individual who purchases the defective product has the opportunity to file a lawsuit against the liable party. Family members, guests, or employees of the purchaser may also bring up a liability claim lawsuit on behalf of the purchaser.
Hiring a lawyer with an understanding of North Carolina’s product liability laws and theories can help the victim make the strongest case against the negligent party. If you or someone you know have received an injury or lost a loved one due to a product defect, you have legal rights. We at Nye Law Group can provide you with the assistance and support that you need. Call us at (912) 200-5230 to learn more about your options.