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Manufacturers' liability per product liability law in New Jersey

Products liability is derived from the principle of negligence under tort law. If a consumer suffers an injury due to a defective product manufactured or sold by the manufacturer or retailer, that manufacturer or retailer may be liable for product liability.

In order to prove product liability, one of the most common principles is that of negligence. Under this theory, the injured consumer needs to prove three things:

  • First, it must be proven that the manufacturer or retailer was actually responsible for what happened to the consumer.
  • Second, the established responsibility must have been breached by the manufacturer or retailer.
  • Third, the consumer needs to prove that the injuries were caused by the breach of duty of care. To establish negligence, there must be a connection between the injury and the breach of duty.

Product liability is also subject to the test of reasonable foresight. Under that principle, the injury must be linked to the defect in the product so that any reasonable person could have predicted such an injury.

A manufacturer or retailer may also be held liable for misrepresenting the product. In this case, two things must be proved by the consumer. First, the manufacturer must have intentionally misrepresented the product. Second, the consumer must have bought the product relying on such misleading information, which led to the problem. In this case, the defect of the product is not as crucial as the misinformation regarding the product.

Many manufacturers may be held liable for their products. This may extend to products that have been manufactured in a manner that caused the defect. The care with which the manufacturer produced the product may not be a relevant factor in establishing strict liability.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Legal Basis for Liability in Product Cases," accessed on Sept. 12, 2014

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