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Defending against strict liability in product defect cases

Because of strict liability, plaintiffs in Ohio do not need to prove that a manufacturer was negligent, only that the product itself is defective. Understandably, this can put manufacturers and other liable parties at a disadvantage in some product liability cases.

How do you defend your company against these types of claims? Are there viable defenses against strict liability? An experienced defense attorney can help with your defense, which may include one of a few key strategic approaches.

The following are common defenses against strict liability claims:

  • Improper use - Products are only expected to be safe when used correctly. If a consumer misuses a product in a way that a manufacturer did not foresee, the company may not be liable.
  • Unforeseeable product alteration - Similar to the defense listed above, if a customer substantially alters a product from the condition it was originally sold and injuries result, the manufacturer may no longer be held responsible.
  • Plaintiff negligence - If the injury was caused by a consumer's own conduct, a manufacturer may not be liable. This could be from using the product with a lack of care, prudence or caution - including while intoxicated.
  • Awareness of the defect - A plaintiff may not be able to claim strict liability if they had an awareness of the defect before the accident, but continued to use the product.

It is most important to remember that you have a right to defend your company against product injury claims. Contact an experienced product liability attorney to discuss strategies specific to your needs.

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