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What is "strict liability"?

Previous posts here have mentioned that when a defective product results in an injury or death for an Illinois resident, a lawsuit would proceed under "products liability" law. However, there is part of this area of law that may be foreign to many of our readers: the concept of "strict liability." So, what is strict liability in a products liability lawsuit?

Strict liability is a concept that applies in products liability lawsuits because it can be more difficult to show the carelessness, negligence or recklessness in the timeline of the production of any given consumer product. For example, if a product is defective, obviously at some point in the timeline of the production of that product someone committed an error. But, how could an injured consumer prove when that error occurred? It could be almost impossible. As a result, strict liability holds that the injured party doesn't have to go through the process of showing that the manufacturer of the product was negligent.

Instead, under strict liability, the consumer has to show that the injuries were caused by the defective product, that the defect in the product existed at the time it was sold by the manufacturer and that the defect was unreasonably dangerous. The defect could be in the product's design, production or an insufficient warning.

When an Illinois resident is successful in proving a products liability case, financial compensation can be awarded to help the injured party recover from the injuries. And, it will most likely also result in a recall of the defective product.

Source: FindLaw, "Proving Fault in a Product Liability Case," Accessed April 23, 2017

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