Maine Product Liability Law
Serving the Portland, Augusta, Bangor, Biddeford, and Saco Areas
When consumers buy a product, they expect should be able to expect it to be reasonably safe. For example, when you buy a life vest, you expect it to float and when you buy food, you expect it to be uncontaminated. If a good is defective and causes injury to the user, they may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. This is often referred to as product liability law. According to Maine's Revised Statutes, Title 14, Section 221:
One who sells any goods or products in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous to the user or consumer or to his property is subject to liability for physical harm thereby caused to a person whom the manufacturer, seller or supplier might reasonably have expected to use, consume or be affected by the goods, or to his property, if the seller is engaged in the business of selling such a product and it is expected to and does reach the user or consumer without significant change in the condition in which it is sold.
Under this law, the following must be true in order for a victim to have a product liability case:
- A product is sold to a consumer that was defective or unreasonably dangerous – In a product liability case, the consumer is not aware of the defect or danger until after the injury occurs.
- The consumer is injured by the product during normal use – The defect or danger led to the injury while the consumer was using the product how it was intended. This includes any reasonable misuses including holding a product upside down, etc.
- The product was not significantly altered before the accident – If the user or an intermediately altered the item in some way, this could negate the liability of the manufacturer. For example, if a safety rail is removed from a child's bunk bed causing the child to become injured after a fall, this would not constitute a product liability case.
In short, this means that the producers, designers, manufacturers or anyone else involved in the production or sale of a product can be held liable for an unreasonably dangerous good that cause injury or property damage to the user. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective or unreasonably dangerous good in Maine, contact The Law Offices of William T. Bly right away.
Types of Defective Products
Any product that causes injury can be the subject of a product liability case. Though some goods are more prone to causing injury than others; a defect in a consumer good that causes injury can lead to a liability issue. Some items are commonly subject to product liability:
- Gas powered equipment
- Safety gear
- Medical equipment
- Children's toys
- Household appliances
What is a Defective Product?
A defect can be anything that makes an item unreasonably dangerous, such as:
- A good that is made incorrectly so that it does not work correctly – For example a printer that bursts into flames while printing.
- A good that does not have the proper warnings – For example, a hair dryer that does not have a large tag warning users to avoid water.
- A good that does not perform the function it was designed for – For example, a medical device that stops working with no warning.
The reason for a product defect does not matter as long as it directly leads to injury. Some examples of causes for a product defect include poor design, use of sub par materials, lack of quality control, and lack of safety warnings. If any party along the chain of manufacturing is negligent, they could be liable for any damages the product causes. This includes:
- The product designer
- The manufacturer
- The assembler
- The wholesaler
- The retail store
Because a defect can occur as far back as the design phase, some product liability cases can be very complicated. That is why anyone who is hurt by an unreasonably dangerous or defective product should contact an injury attorney as soon as possible so that the legal team has time to build a case. It is important to act quickly because the statute of limitations on defective product cases in Maine is only 6 years.
Maine Defective Product Attorney
If you have experienced an injury due to a consumer good and would like to find out more about a product liability claim, contact the Maine injury attorneys a The Law Offices of William T. Bly. You maybe eligible for compensation for your medical bills, lost wages from inability to work or wrongful death in the event of the loss of a loved one. We will handle your case with the personal care and attention that you deserve. Call us now for a free personal injury consultation.