Most of the time when products liability cases make the news it is in the context of sensational stories of product recalls, injuries and even deaths. But in Texas the way that the products liability statute is written, there are several ways in which products liability can occur, some of which may not seem immediately apparent.
It is helpful to consider possible products liability actions in two ways: who can be liable, and what they can be liable for.
Manufacturers are the obvious first candidates for liability, based on how a product is designed or made. Those further along the chain of distribution to the injured person (the law refers to such parties as “sellers”) may also be liable for a defective product if they engage in certain activities.
So if a seller modifies a product, or improperly installed a product, or misrepresented the product in some way and someone was injured as a result of that misrepresentation. The liability of manufacturers and sellers is not necessarily exclusive; situations can arise in which both may be potentially liable.
Personal injury is probably what people think of first in products liability claims. But other types of harm can also form the basis of liability, including wrongful death, property damage and breaches of express or implied warranties. What this means is that products liability can be one of multiple claims arising out of a single injury: for example, if a defective product causes injury, and the injury leads to death, then a subsequent lawsuit may include negligence, wrongful death, misrepresentation, warranty breach and wrongful death as well as possibly other claims.
Products liability law can be complicated when considered by itself. When combined with other legal theories, and even multiple plaintiffs and defendants (who may file claims of their own), it can be difficult for anyone other than a personal injury law firm to fully understand and apply. Making sure that all possible legal theories are explored when investigating the types of recovery available after a product-related injury, death or property damage is a key consideration when choosing an attorney to represent you.