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Lawsuit!: Reducing the Risk of Product Liability for Manufacturers by Randall L. Goodden

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3

Product Liability Law

As corporations initiate the product liability prevention effort, or get more involved in their own claims or product liability lawsuits, they will need to understand the various legal terms involved. Over the years I have had various individuals from manufacturing companies contact me as they became interested in developing their own program and ask whether they needed to go to Law School, and of course I would explain that it was not at all necessary. Over time they would just become more knowledgeable of the various terms that applied, but there are various reference books the key person should purchase and have available, such as Black's Law Dictionary.

Let us begin with the definition of “Product Liability.” This is defined as the legal liability of manufacturers and sellers to compensate buyers, users, and even bystanders, for damages or injuries suffered because of defects in purchased goods. This is basically a lawsuit against a manufacturer for products that are alleged to be defective. The next question then becomes, “What is a product?” Of course that would seem pretty logical at first glance, and would apply to the physical item that was purchased, but the product could be more than that. A product could be the instructions or operating manual supplied with the primary item, or the service or maintenance instructions provided, the warning labels applied to the physical product, advertisements or promotional brochures pertaining to the end product, ...

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