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What should you do if you are injured by a defective product? Should you file a lawsuit? Before you go rushing off to court, you should know the following theories of liability.

1. Negligence

In the absence of any duty of care to the Plaintiff with respect to a product causing injury, there can be no liability for negligence. Generally, a manufacturer has a duty to design a reasonably safe product. This duty extends to forseeably injured persons, regardless of whether the ultimate consumer or user has any contractual relationship with the manufacturer or seller. A manufacturer may also have a duty to test or inspect a product if it is foreseeable that it could cause injury. Liability for negligence in respect of a product arises from the breach of this duty that may ultimately result in a defective, unsafe product. For example, if a manufacturer or seller has knowledge of the defect or danger and does nothing about it, he has breached his duty. The failure to provide safety devices or warning on a product can also constitute breach.

Also, when proving negligence, there must be some injury proximately caused by the defective product. Without some injury to a plaintiff, there is no liability, even though the product may be defective.

2. Strict Liability

Strict liability means negligence as a matter of law. The effect is to remove the burden from the user of proving specific acts of negligence. In order to prove strict liability, the product must have been in a defective and unreasonably dangerous condition at the time it left the manufacturer's or seller's control as well as when the accident occurred. The defective or dangerous condition must also be the cause of the injury. The doctrine of strict liability applies to products which have been defectively designed.

3.Breach of Warranty

Where a product is expressly warranted by its manufacturer or seller, the warrantor will be held liable for personal injury or property damages traceable to the breach of such warranty. Liability can also be imposed under a theory of breach of an implied warranty. For example, there is an implied warranty that the product is fit for a particular purpose.