When people think about defective product law, they often assume it applies to injury cases involving products. That brand of product law is strongly established and legitimate, but it's not the entirety of the field. You also can pursue compensation for economic losses, even if there were no injuries. Here is how a defective product law office looks at predominantly economic cases.
Types of Economic Claims in Defective Product Law
Individuals and organizations may seek compensation for repair or replacement costs associated with defective products. Likewise, they can file claims for lost profits. They also can demand compensation for the loss of the use of a product or the loss of its value. Claimants may seek damages due to a product driving up their cost of doing business.
Some of these are fairly straightforward claims in terms of damages. For example, you usually should have no trouble showing the economic damages of repair or replacement costs.
Conversely, proving that the product caused a certain loss in profits could get quite complicated because you have to quantify how big a role the product played in making money. A lawyer can calculate the economic value of a product's role in a profit-seeking enterprise, but there are always going to be some questions. The same applies to claims based on the cost of doing business.
An important factor is figuring out who the defendant ought to be. Depending on how the product ended up in the claimant's possession, potential defendants may include the seller, manufacturer, or a part supplier. For example, a truck manufacturer might assert that the defects in an engine were due to a supplier's negligence.
There are even scenarios where third parties might be liable. If you sent a system for modifications, for example, the shop that did the work could be liable if the defects arose from its work.
A successful claim must also show that the defendant was negligent. A defendant may assert that the product failed due to normal wear and tear. Generally, a failure of this type doesn't constitute negligence unless the manufacturer failed to anticipate a dangerous part of the failure condition. You may need to show that the failure wasn't statistically expected.
The defense might argue the claimant misused the product. The two sides may get very legalistic about the clarity of instructions and diagrams. Also, there may be some debate about if the use was proper, such as whether you could employ a system in commercial applications.
Contact a local defective product law office to learn more.