You're in the business of selling goods in the marketplace. You should know about legal issues around defective products. So in this lesson, we're going to talk about types of defects that may exist with products in the marketplace. We'll introduce this concept of strict liability. We'll talk about who is responsible for defective products and injuries that may result from defective products. And then we'll outline a few defenses that may be available to you. If you find yourself in a situation where you're being held responsible for a defective product, start with types of defects. There are multiple ways of product can be defective. They can be effective in the manufacturing of the product. So this is the process by which the product is actually being built. But a product can also be effective in its design. The very concept of of the particular product can be defective. And a product can also be effective if you're not adequately warning a user on how to use the product. So while the design may be adequate and perfect while the product was built to certain specifications. And there's no manufacturing defect with the product. If a user is not using the product appropriately, that inability to give adequate warnings about use, or what could happen with particular uses could also constitute a type of defect. Now, defective products is an area of law that is pretty harsh. And that's because the contact concept of strict liability applies to defective products. Unlike other areas of law where you're required to show a plaintiff is required to show negligence. Meaning that the person, the defendant fell below some reasonable standard of care where defendant like breached some duty that they owe to the plaintiff. That's typically what's required under negligence, when there's some injury. With defective products, If there's an injury, negligence is not required. There's no requirement that you show some duty and breach or some standard of care that wasn't complied with. Under strict liability if the product was defective, and there was an injury, and it's because the defective product was unreasonably dangerous. Then you can be held liable for any injuries that occur as a result of the defective product, very harsh result. Because it really doesn't leave a lot of room for explaining what happened or or showing that a standard of care was followed. Oftentimes, the question about regulation and laws come into effect with respect to strict liability. Just because you complied with a regulation, there's a regulation around certain temperatures at which a product needs to stay. Or regulations around stress tests, or certain requirements, or specifications for your product. If there are regulations around that and you comply with those regulations, that's not a defense to strict liability. However, if there are regulations around certain aspects of your product and you fail to comply with those regulations. Then that will constitute negligence per se, that you won't even have to go through that part of the analysis. So while compliance with the regulation may not get you out of hot water, non compliance with the regulation will certainly keep you in hot water. So you want to make sure that you're aware of and you're following any regulations around the types of products that you're in the business of selling. That way you at least mitigate the chance of having a negligence per se, or strict liability analysis applied to you who is responsible for a defective product. This graphic gives a good indication of defective products and players in the distribution chain, and how liability attaches. Now, typically, when there's an injury in normal tort analysis, the person who actually causes the injury, the negligent party is the person that's held liable. But when you're thinking about strict liability lawsuit, which is on a defective product analysis would be a strict liability analysis. Anyone in the distribution chain, whether it's the manufacturer, the wholesaler or even the retailer. Anyone in that distribution chain can be held liable for an injury that results from a defective product. And this is very important for you as an entrepreneur because you may be one of the players in this distribution chain. You may be the person that's designing the product, right? It's your design, that results in this ultimate product is being sold, or you're the manufacturer. You're building the product or you can be the retailer, you could merely just be selling the product. Anyone of those players, if there's a defective product that causes an injury. Anyone of those players can be individually be held liable for that injury. And by individually, I mean, your company not necessarily, sharing that liability with others in the distribution chain. Your company itself can be fully responsible for the injuries. Now, there's some defenses to defective product claims, one, the traditional tort defenses, right? So all the defenses that you would have assumption of risk, the user assumed the risk by using the product. Obviousness of risk, where it was so obvious that if you use the product in this way, it could lead to injury. Also, product misuse. If a user does not follow certain warnings or instructions that are included with the product. Or they use the product in a way that the product is not intended to be used, that can be a defense to a defective product analysis. Also this concept of comparative fault, whereas, you may have contributed to liability here. But the user may also have contributed by using the product the wrong way or not, following instructions properly on how to use the product. Now, some states allow this analysis, this comparative fault analysis. Other states do not, and so it will largely depend on the jurisdiction, that you're in also with respect to some products. Federal law trumps state law. So, for example, airbags in a car or tobacco, good examples of where federal law has come in. And said, we're going to regulate products that are in this space. And so depending on the product area that you're in the technology area, you want to be sure about what type of law may apply in the event. Product is defective, it causes injury to one of your users. So in summary products can have multiple types of defects that can be design defects. Mechanical or manufacturing type defects, but also failure to give proper warnings and notices to your users. Could also satisfy the notion of being a defect in the product. Most product liability cases or strict liability cases, so the product is defective. And that defect made the product unreasonably dangerous and it resulted in an injury. You could be held strictly liable. Now, defenses that may be available to you will vary depending on individual state law. And give depending on whether your product areas in a space where federal law has a preemption. It also maybe federal law that's governing this product liability claim. So, if you're in the business of selling a product, understand where you are in the distribution chain. Understand what obligations you may have for defective products. And consult a council if you're ever in a situation where a product that you're selling has caused injury to one of your users.