Defective products result in thousands of injuries per year, but in a subsequent claim, responsibility doesn’t always appear clear. In product liability law, all within the distribution chain are accountable for putting such an item on the market. Additionally, the product must meet consumers’ standard expectations and needs to have been sold in a traditional fashion.

With these points in mind, lawyers putting together a case determine a contractual relationship between the supplier and the person injured. Keep in mind that the injured party may or may not have been the individual purchasing the product.

Parties and Situations

infant in a car seatSeveral parties have a share in product liability lawsuits. There may be the:

  • Manufacturer
  • Parts manufacturer
  • Assembler or installer
  • Wholesalers
  • Store or retailer

In the transaction, the product must also be part of a standard course of business. How the injury occurred influences responsibility:

  • Design Defects: An aspect of the physical design is unsafe for the user;
  • Manufacturing Defects: The defect occurs as a result of assembly or the process of creating the product;
  • Marketing Defects: The defect stems from the product’s marketing, labeling, instructions, or safety warning.

Cases frequently involve multiple defendants. As a result, “joint and several liability” splits the responsibility between the parties, all while indicating individual responsibility to the plaintiff.

Proving the Defect

Whether the product was defective or whether the defendant should be responsible becomes convoluted. Several factors come into play:

  • There is “strict liability”, in which case the plaintiff must prove the product was defective;
  • If the product is obviously unsafe but still useful, the manufacturer has to provide adequate warnings and list risks, so the consumer is able to make an informed decision about its usage;
  • The plaintiff alters the product beyond the manufacturer’s control, and the alteration or misuse of the product directly results in the injury.


In order for a product liability lawsuit to proceed, the plaintiff must first identify all parties responsible. This only varies in the instances of defective medication, in which there’s “market share liability”. Here, even if the plaintiff can’t identify all manufacturers, each behind the drug is held liable to its percentage of sales.
Trantolo & Trantolo’s lawyers take on a range of product liability cases, from defective medications to harmful products. If you or a loved one had been injured and believe you have a claim, contact any of our Connecticut locations to speak with an experienced attorney.