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Who are the responsible parties in a product liability suit?

When a plaintiff is injured by a defective or dangerous product, one of the first orders of business to be carried out by his or her personal injury attorney is to determine who the responsible and liable parties are. In determining who these parties are, the lawyer must look to the contractual relationships that came into being when the defective or dangerous product was sold in the marketplace.

Historically referred to as a "privity of contract," the contractual relationship that comes into being when a product is sold in the marketplace existed between the individual purchaser of the product, who was hurt, and the party that supplied the product. However, in modern product liability law, it is no longer necessary for the plaintiff to have purchased the product in order to receive personal injury protections.

Any person who was hurt by a dangerous or defective product due to no fault of his or her own, so long as the defective item was indeed sold to some person. As such, any party that falls inside the product's distribution chains could potentially be an at-fault party. For example, these include:

-- Product manufacturers

-- Component part manufacturers

-- Assembly companies that put the product away safely or stall the product

-- Wholesalers of the product

-- A retail store that sold the product to an individual

Pennsylvania plaintiffs who were injured by a defective product may have strong claims for financial recovery should they choose to file a defective product claim in court. An experienced product liability attorney can be very helpful in filing and litigating a personal injury action in this regard.

Source: FindLaw, "What is product liability," accessed Nov. 25, 2016

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