A product liability lawsuit is a civil legal action against a manufacturer or seller of a product if one of those products turns out to be defective and causes you harm.
Alabama has a relatively short statute of limitations, as typically one would have just two years from the date of the injury, death, or property damage in which to file your product liability claim. If your case involves exposure to a harmful substance and you weren't immediately aware of the injury, Alabama's limited discovery rule typically gives you one year from when you discovered (or should have discovered) the harm.
Limits on Damages
Alabama limits damages in some product liability cases. Under the State's strict pure contributory negligence standard, one is completely barred from recovering any damages if they were found to be partially at fault for the harm that occurred. Also, Alabama's economic loss rule does not allow for recovery if the defect only damages the product itself, not a person or other property. Additionally, the state limits punitive damages to claims involving death and cases where the plaintiff proves that the defendant acted fraudulently, maliciously, or with "a reckless or conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others."
Theories of liability include claims based on negligence, breach of warranty, and strict liability through Alabama extended manufacturer's liability doctrine (AEMLD). Under the AEMLD, a plaintiff must prove that the product reached the user without substantial alteration, and that the injured person suffered injury or property damage due to a product's defective condition which made the product unreasonably dangerous. The question is; is the product more dangerous than the reasonable user or consumer would expect the product to be when put to its intended use?
A defective product can be by its design, manufacturing, or because of a failure to warn its users of the dangers inherent with the product. Products can be deemed defective even if used correctly, when the product is either inherently designed unsafe, or the manufacturer did not worn sufficiently of the danger.
The plaintiff may also claim that the manufacturer knew that its product might be dangerous and had a duty to warn end users about it, but failed to do so. A plaintiff must show that he or she would have more likely than not read and heeded the warning had it been adequately provided. These are simply known as "failure to warn" cases.
If you or a loved one is injured by what you believe to be a defective or dangerous product, call us today for a free no obligation consultation.
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