Experienced & Aggressive North Carolina Lawyers
A product liability claim can be one of the most complex cases an injured person can bring. In North Carolina, product liability claims are governed by North Carolina General Statute 99B. Generally in North Carolina, an injured person can only bring a claim based on negligence against the manufacturer. These cases often fall into three categories:
Manufacturing Defect. In these cases, a defect in the way the product was manufactured causes the injury. An example would be a lawn mower blade that is made with a crack in it, which breaks when used, causing injury.
Design Defect. In these cases, a poor design causes injury to the person. In North Carolina, the injured person must prove that the manufacturer acted unreasonably in designing the product, that this conduct proximately caused the injury, and one of the following:
- the manufacturer unreasonably failed to adopt a safer, practical, feasible and otherwise reasonable design and that the better design would have prevented or substantially reduced the risk of harm without substantially impairing the usefulness, practicality or desirability of the product, or
- the design of the product was so unreasonable that a reasonable person, aware of the facts, would not use or consume a product of this design.
A common example would be a piece of industrial machinery which was built without some proper safety guards or protection devices.
Inadequate Warning. These cases refer to injuries caused as a result of a product which was sold without a proper warning to the consumer. In North Carolina, an injured person must prove that the manufacture acted unreasonably in failing to provide such a warning, that the failure to provide such warning proximately caused the injury, and also one of the following:
- when the product without an adequate warning left control of the manufacturer, it created an unreasonably dangerous condition that the manufacturer knew, or should have known, posed a substantial risk of harm, or
- after the product left the manufacturer’s control, the manufacturer became aware of or should have known that the product posed a substantial risk of harm to a reasonably foreseeable user and failed to take reasonable steps to give adequate warning.
In North Carolina, there is no duty to warn about an open and obvious risk that is a matter of common knowledge.
If you or a family member has been injured because of what you believe is a defective product, you should consult an attorney familiar with product liability / defective product cases at the earliest opportunity to protect your right of recovery.
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