Asked in Products Liability for North Carolina

Q: What can be the defense of a manufacturer against product liability?

If minors use a product (e.g., a basic/simple product such as a pail, bucket) without any parental supervision and they suffered physical injuries (e.g., carrying the bucket full of water in an inclined plane, and lost balance then fell) from using such product, can the minors actually sue the manufacturer of such product? The minors allege that the manufacturer should be held liable since the product lack proper safety guards and its design is unsafe. What can be the defense of the manufacturer?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Robert D. Kreisman
Robert D. Kreisman
  • Products Liability Lawyer
  • Chicago, IL

A: Defenses in product liability cases can range from misuse of the product by the injured party, to assumption of risk or that the product had been altered in a dangerous way by a third party since it was put into the stream of commerce. The defendant manufacturer would also attempt to prove that the product was designed with safety in mind, that the product came with specific warnings about any potential dangers. In your example, minors unsupervised by adults carrying a bucket of water and falling would not on those facts rise to the level of a product defect case.

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