Product liability laws can vary widely from state to state. Some states have stricter laws than others. As a result, some citizens live in a more plaintiff-friendly environment than others. This might lead to you asking, “which states have the strictest product liability laws?”
You should always understand your legal rights if you or a loved one has suffered an injury from a defective product. Furthermore, hiring an experienced attorney can help you determine whether you have a case. The last thing you want to do is leave money on the table, and be left to deal with your pain and suffering. It’s also critical for others safety that you take action if an incident with a product has occurred.
Which States Have The Strictest Product Liability Laws?
This article explores some of the strictest product liability laws in the United States and how they may apply. By the end, you may find several motivating factors to schedule a consultation with an attorney in our network. We can also help you learn more by showing you 5 product liability cases that you should know about.
California product liability laws are well-known for being the most consumer-friendly in the country. Consequently, manufacturers and sellers in the state must take extra measures to ensure safety. Otherwise, they risk facing significant legal and financial consequences. This is why California tops our list of which states have the strictest product liability laws.
California laws provide for strict liability in these cases. Adopting this legal doctrine means manufacturers can be liable for any injuries. Their level of negligence does not factor into the final decision.
California courts have also been more willing to allow expert testimony. This clarification their expertise brings to the causation of injuries can be a tremendous boon to your case.
Furthermore, the legal system has a reputation for being more progressive and consumer-friendly. Juries tend to be more sympathetic, and many attorneys and judges are familiar with product liability law.
California Civil Code Section 1714.45
This law allows a plaintiff to start a civil action for a design defect. Under this rule, the courts consider a product defective if it fails to perform safely. The regulations also have provisions for the nature of the product, its price, and other relevant factors.
California Civil Code Section 1792
This statute establishes the implied warranty of how well a product fits a particular purpose. It also provides that a manufacturer or seller guarantees that the goods are trustworthy. The result is that legal precedent becomes critical to establishing if a company took enough precautions.
California Civil Code Section 1794
California Civil Code establishes the rights of a consumer who experiences a defect in a product. Primarily, it gives the consumer the right to demand a repair, replacement, or refund. The law also specifies that a manufacturer or seller may not limit the rights granted to a consumer.
If the manufacturer or seller fails to follow through properly, they may be liable for damages. The compensation they may have to give includes the product’s costs and your attorney fees.
There are several historical and legislative reasons New York has a reputation for being plaintiff-friendly. The primary justification for this reputation is adherence to the market share theory of liability. This doctrine holds that each manufacturer of a defective product is liable for a portion of the damages. As a result, plaintiffs can hold multiple defendants accountable for their injuries, even if they cannot identify the specific manufacturer.
New York is also 1 of 36 states with a strict liability standard. This is why New York made our list of which states have the strictest product liability laws. Under this legislation, manufacturers are strictly liable for any defects in their products that cause harm to consumers.
Finally, New York courts and juries are often sympathetic to plaintiffs in product liability cases. Its large population and diverse economy make it a popular forum for this litigation.
New York General Obligations Law § 11-101
This statute establishes the state’s legal standards for manufacturers and distributors. It requires them to exercise reasonable care in design, manufacture, and distribution. They must also warn of any dangers associated with their products, which can be vital in a lemon law lawsuit.
The Child Safe Products Act
S501B became law in 2019. The legislation requires manufacturers of children’s products to disclose the presence of hazardous chemicals. It also empowers the state to take action to remove goods from the market and impose penalties.
Illinois courts have a long history of being receptive to lawsuits brought by plaintiffs in product liability cases. In particular, state judiciaries have given juries more latitude to determine whether a manufacturer is responsible.
Illinois also has a strong history of consumer protection laws and regulations. Cumulatively, legislation passed by lawmakers has created a legal environment in which plaintiffs can be confident they can protect their rights.
ILCS Chapter 735, Section 5/2-2101
This statute is the strict liability doctrine for Illinois. Under this law, a plaintiff can recover damages without proving negligence or fault.
ILCS Chapter 735, Section 5/2-2102
This statute establishes the elements of a product liability claim in Illinois. To succeed in a product liability claim, a plaintiff must prove the following elements:
- The product was defective
- It directly caused the injuries in question
- The plaintiff used it in a reasonably foreseeable way
ILCS Chapter 735, Section 5/13-202
This law addresses the statute of limitations for product liability claims in Illinois. Generally, a plaintiff has two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit.
A Note on Federal Product Liability Laws
According to Thomson Reuters, federal law does not deal with product liability. Hence, why it is important to know which states have the strictest product liability laws. Historically, legislatures have seen this concern as something each state should decide for itself. This can lead to an array of questions and difficulties on both the user, and developer side of a product.
There could be other justifications for a federal lawsuit related to the event. But talk with a local attorney before getting your hopes up. They will be aware of some of the history of product liability laws in your area. Furthermore, they can advise you on the most practical way to approach civil actions to protect your long-term interests.
Schedule a Consultation With a Product Liability Lawyer Near You
Do you live in a state that wasn’t mentioned in the above paragraphs? Still not sure which states have the strictest product liability laws? There is no need to worry. You can explore other legal avenues with a local product liability attorney.