Product Liability and the Consumer Expectation Test
When consumers purchase a product, they expect to hand over their money in exchange for a safe, working item that functions as advertised. Unfortunately, as any product liability lawyer can confirm, that isn’t always the case. Some products can be defective when manufactured, resulting in a failure of the product and sometimes injury to the consumer. In order to gauge defective products that result in legal disputes, product liability lawyers use a consumer expectation test.
This test is used for two purposes. First, to determine if a product was defective at the time of manufacture, and two, to determine whether or not the warning included with the product was sufficient.
Product Liability Requires Neither Knowledge Nor Intent
Lawyers use this test in liability cases to determine if the manufacturer is responsible for producing a defective product that may have caused an unreasonably dangerous situation for the consumer. There does not have to be intent on the manufacturers’ part, nor knowledge of the defect, because manufacturers are ultimately responsible for the safety of the products they produce.
A product liability lawyer knows how to explain and debate the conclusions from a consumer expectation test before a jury, which can then decide if the manufacturer should be held liable. In order to be found negligent, the product must have failed to meet what are considered to be the consumer’s reasonable expectations.
Can a Product Liability Lawyer Help If The Consumer Is Not Injured?
Yes. Liability can be established even when use of the product did not result in the consumer becoming injured. In these instances, the manufacturer still has a responsibility. When no evidence of a manufacturing defect exists, either circumstantial or direct, a consumer’s rights can still be violated. How? An experienced product liability lawyer may demonstrate how the product did not meet with the consumer’s reasonable expectations for the product.
What constitutes “reasonable consumer expectations?” This implies the typical expectations in performance that a consumer should normally expect to receive from a product. But there are some areas where this type of test is considered to be inappropriate. In cases involving defects that are mechanical or technical in nature, utilization of the test is not fair since the defect requires a specific understanding of very complex components and their precise performance under specific circumstances.
If you believe that you have purchased a defective product, you have rights under the law. Even if you have not been injured as a result of using the product, it may still be wise to speak to an experienced product liability lawyer to see how your rights as a consumer can be protected.
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Contact Aslin Tutuyan to Help Evaluate Your Case
Aslin Tutuyan is a personal injury attorney with The Mandell Law Firm in Woodland Hills, California. Mandell Law is an aggressive personal injury law firm serving clients throughout the San Fernando Valley, the Greater Los Angeles area, and Southern California. Experienced and reputable, our attorneys provide hands-on care and sincere commitment to victims of personal injury and harms of all kinds, including product liability and negligence. Contact Aslin Tutuyan for a free consultation at 818.886.6600.