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Who May Be Held Liable in a Defective Product Case?

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defective product new jersey

Imagine you were injured by a product you recently bought–or maybe you don’t need to imagine it. Maybe it’s just that situation that led you to this blog post. You might be wondering what options you have open in terms of compensation and who you can file a claim against. Your first step should be to talk to an Essex County product liability lawyer. But as you are in the process of so doing, this blog post will give you a good introduction to key concepts you’ll need to keep in mind.

Protections Against Defective Products in New Jersey

New Jersey boasts the Products Liability Act, which states that a product manufacturer or a seller may be responsible for harm caused by a defective product if said product wasn’t reasonably fit, suitable, or safe to use. If the product either used a different design than intended and was defective, if the design as intended was unsafe, or if the product had dangerous components but lacked adequate warnings to users, whoever ultimately uses the product may have a viable claim. This is particularly true if strict liability applies, because then the plaintiff only needs to show that there was a defect that caused harm.

What Is a Defective Product?

A defective product is a product that injures another person because of its design, how it was used, and its (lack of) labeling and instructions. This can include children’s toys with choking hazards, mechanical flaws in vehicles, or faulty electrical components in a device. The defects may be one of three types: manufacturing defects, design defects, or a defect in the lack of adequate warnings.

It is very important to keep in mind that if you use a product counter to how it was intended, you are unlikely to be successful in your claim.

Who Is Liable in Such a Claim?

The party responsible can vary, especially considering the specific case and circumstances at hand. Usually, the responsible party will be one of:


Products nowadays typically have multiple manufacturers, which can complicate finding the responsible party for a defective product.


The seller from whom you purchase the product may be liable for any defects, errors, or mistakes caused while they had the product.

Distributors and Wholesalers

This refers to middlemen who get products ready for packaging, shipping, and distribution. Once again, if the product is made defective in their care, they may be liable.

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