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When we invest our hard-earned money in a product, we expect it to work, or at least not to cause harm. But unfortunately, sometimes products we purchase fail to perform as they should —or worse—perform in a manner that causes injury or damage that otherwise would not have existed.

When a defective product causes harm, it is time to consult a Greenville product liability attorney. An attorney with experience handling product liability cases will be able to evaluate the circumstances of your individual case and determine the best course of action to work toward recovery.

Types of Products Involved

Virtually any item can be the subject of a product liability lawsuit, but some of the more common manufactured items in product liability actions seen by product liability lawyers include:

  • Baby cribs and playpens
  • Space heaters
  • Pharmaceutical drugs
  • Medical devices
  • Car tires or other motor vehicle components

Proving a Defective Product Claim

Unlike many other states, North Carolina does follow a strict liability standard when it comes to product liability law, so it is not enough simply to show that a product is defective. A party seeking damages must prove that the manufacturer acted negligently and that the defect resulting from that negligence was the “proximate cause” of the harm suffered by the claimant.

Under Chapter 99B of the North Carolina Code, there are different ways to prove that harm caused by a defective product warrants a recovery:

  • The manufacturer acted unreasonably in designing the product
  • The manufacturer acted unreasonably when making the product
  • The manufacturer failed to provide adequate warnings about the product
  • The manufacturer failed to provide sufficient instructions about the proper use of the product
  • The manufacturer breached a warranty owed to the purchaser

A product liability attorney in Greenville can help ensure all requirements of proof are met for the suit to be successful.

Defenses of the Manufacturer or Seller

In addition to other arguments, the North Carolina product liability statutes set forth a number of specific defenses that can be argued by either manufacturers or sellers defending a claim based on defective products.

Among these defenses are:

  • The injury or harm was caused by a modification made to the product after it left the control of the manufacturer or seller
  • The purchaser used the product in a manner contrary to the instructions or warnings attached to the product or its packaging
  • The purchaser of the product discovered a dangerous defect and used the product regardless
  • The purchaser failed to exercise reasonable care in the use of the product
  • Any risk that the manufacturer failed to warn about was open and obvious
  • The harm was caused by an inherent characteristic of the product that is well known and that cannot be eliminated without substantially compromising the product’s usefulness

Many of these defenses can be classified under the theory of contributory negligence, meaning that the actions of the injured party contributed to the injury.

Working with a Lawyer

Products with defects or inadequate labeling can cause serious harm or even death. Sometimes, it takes a lawsuit to get a company to realize that it needs to change practices in order to avoid causing harm in the future.

If you have been injured or suffered damage caused by a defective product, consult a Greenville product liability lawyer to learn about your options for recovery.