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Where does the buck stop in products liability?

Texas statutes define products liability action as any action against a manufacture or seller for placing a defective product in the hands of a consumer.  For the action to stand use of the product should result in personal injury, death or damage to property belonging to the user.

Anyone in the supply chain of the defective product can be legally held liable. The law defines the seller as anyone who is involved in distributing or placing the product. Sellers that deal with components used in making the products components can also be held liable.

Several legal theories are also applied to make it easier for people to claim damages. These theories include negligence, strict liability, breach of warranty and strict product liability. A few other conditions also apply before a product liability action can stand. For one, the product has to be sold in a marketplace.

A seller is only liable if the sale is made as part of his regular business. If someone made a one-off sale of his old television for instance, product liability law does not apply.

There is also the issue of privity of contract. It used to be that for you to bring a suit for product liability you had to be the buyer of the product. You cannot sue the seller if you get electrocuted by a defective toaster you borrowed from a neighbor.

Most state statutes have rectified this anomaly by introducing the doctrine of strict liability.  This means that anyone who can reasonably expect to be injured by a defective product can sue.

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Marynell Maloney Law Firm, PLLC
922 S. Alamo St
San Antonio, TX 78205
Phone: 210-446-0035
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