However, a certain amount of risk comes with purchasing goods from others. While most products are deemed generally safe to use, some defective products may make their way through. With that being said, here are 5 facts about St Petersburg and its product liability laws.
They Are Hard to Win Cases
Product liability cases can be hard to win because the plaintiff in the case must be able to prove that the manufacturer is liable for the injuries sustained as the result of any defective products. Under Florida law, this can fall to negligence or strict liability.
When proving negligence in these cases, you need to prove the failure to adequately review products, failure to perform adequate maintenance procedures, and failure to follow through with thorough testing before the products release.
The plaintiff can also bring up a breach of warranty when proving negligence. There is either an express or implied warranty when a product is for sale. An express warranty states that the manufacturer backs their product and will replace or repair the product if it proves to be defective.
An implied warranty is the manufacturer's promise stating that the product is safe to use as long as it is used as intended.
Under strict liability, the plaintiff must show that the product was defective before it even left the factory. A plaintiff needs to prove that the product has a defective design, it was unreasonably dangerous and did not perform safely, there was a manufacturing defect, or there was a marketing defect.
Florida’s Statute of Limitations for Defective Products
As is the case with most personal injury lawsuits, there is a statute of limitations placed on when you can file. The statute of limitations for product liability in Florida is four years from the date of injury. If the injury resulted in wrongful death, that timeline is cut to two years.
Florida’s Pure Comparative Negligence Rule
Florida also follows what is known as pure comparative negligence. This means they take into account the fault of all parties involved. This can affect the amount of compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiff. For example, if the court finds that the plaintiff was 40% liable for the damages, they will only receive damages to cover the 60% that was not considered their fault.
Laws Are Not Limited to the Manufacturer
Another fact to know is that Florida’s product liability laws are not limited to just the manufacturer. Plaintiffs can seek compensatory damages from any party involved in the distribution chain. This includes manufacturers, retailers, and wholesalers.
Successful Product Liability Claims
Four elements often accompany a successful product liability claim in Florida. Here are a few things you want to discuss with your personal injury attorney:
All bodily injuries, damage to your property, lost wages, economic losses must prove a flawed design or manufacturing defect with the product. Or, you need to prove that the manufacturer failed to inform users of the risk the product can pose to the user
To be heard in court, a product liability claim must show a causative relationship between the defective product and the plaintiff’s injuries. Finally, you must prove that the product was being used as intended.
If you think you have a product liability claim, be sure to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney for guidance on how to proceed..