Strict products liability is a legal theory under which victims can hold a defective product designer, manufacturer, or seller responsible for injuries regardless of intent. In other words, there does not need to be evidence of negligence, as long as an injury can be directly linked to the defective product.
Strict liability applies to three types of product defects in Missouri:
Liability can fall on any party involved in a defective product’s chain of distribution, in addition to the manufacturer, distributor, and seller—for example, a manufacturer of parts, a party responsible for assembling or installing the product, or the wholesaler.
Under strict liability law, a manufacturer, distributor, or seller can be held liable if you can provide evidence that:
A product is considered defective if it is not safe for its intended use. Proving a product that caused your injury was defective is typically the toughest element of a strict product liability lawsuit. The evidence that you must produce to demonstrate the flawed nature of a product will vary based on the type of defect alleged (e.g., manufacturing, design, marketing). For example, in design defect cases, the court will usually conduct a risk-utility analysis to determine whether the product was unsafe. In manufacturing defect cases, there must be evidence that the defect was present when the product left the manufacturer’s control. In failure to warn or marketing defect cases, you must prove that the product did not have a warning or that the warning was inadequate, which led to your harm.
Although a plaintiff’s (victim’s) burden of proof under strict products liability is less stringent than a negligence claim, multiple cases tried in Missouri have made it clear that strict products liability does not mean absolute liability. Plaintiffs will still face many legal hurdles before successfully holding a manufacturer, distributor, or seller responsible.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product in Missouri, our attorneys at Goldblatt + Singer are well-versed in products liability law. Our St. Louis product liability attorneys have helped countless consumers recover the compensation they deserve. Call (844) 478-5529 or message us online to schedule a free consultation today