Under Washington’s Product Liability Act (PLA), a consumer may bring a claim for injury resulting from use of a product. RCW 7.72. A product manufacturer has a duty to provide reasonably safe products and can be held liable under the following scenarios:
The product deviates in some material way from the design specifications or performance standards (not a reasonably safe design);
If the product is unsafe to an extent beyond what would be contemplated by the ordinary user, and no adequate warnings and/or instructions have been provided. (A manufacturer does not have a duty to warn of obvious or known dangers);
When a product fails to conform to an express warranty given by the manufacturer, and the failure causes injury;
The relevant product or portion thereof, is the product or its component part giving rise to the injury/claim (rather than the entire assembled product). (PLA RCW 7.72.010(3)))
Liability is generally also imposed on sellers if the product is branded or marketed under the name of the product seller. RCW 7.72.040(2). Thus, the seller may be held vicariously liable for a manufacturing defect (responsible for the breach of the manufacturer’s defect.)
Contact Sherrard McGonagle Tizzano & Lind’s Bainbridge Island Office to schedule your free case evaluation. We proudly represent injury victims throughout Washington State.