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By John Kristensen of Kristensen, LLP posted in Defective Products on Saturday, April 14, 2018.
Parties That Cannot Be Held Liable For Defective Products In California

If you have been injured as a result of using a defective product, there are certain parties that can be held responsible for your injuries and damages. However, it does not mean that you can sue everyone involved in the manufacturing process and the chain of distribution.

California laws outline a list of parties not subject to strict product liability, so we invited our Los Angeles product liability attorney from the Kristensen, LLP, to explain why these parties cannot be held liable for your injuries caused by defective or dangerous products.

Manufacturers of non-defective components are not liable

Even if you have a legitimate product liability case against the main manufacturer – either because the manufacturer made a manufacturing error, or there is a design defect that makes the product inherently dangerous, or the manufacturer failed to provide adequate warnings – you will not be able to sue manufacturers of non-defective component parts.

And it makes sense, our Los Angeles product liability lawyer says. You see, if a component manufacturer was not negligent in making and supplying the main manufacturer with non-defective component parts, then that component manufacturer will most likely not be liable for any manufacturing defects, defective design or failure to warn in the finished product.

Other parties not subject to product liability

Financial institutions. The financial institution that handled the transaction between you and the manufacturer (seller) when purchasing the defective product will most likely not be held liable for your injuries caused by that product, as financial institution had no obligation or ability to ensure your safety while using the product or check whether or not the product was dangerous.

Used products dealers and casual sellers of goods not engaged in sales as part of the business. Under California product liability laws, it is nearly impossible to hold one-time casual sellers of used goods to a strict liability standard.

Installers of component parts. Installers of defective component parts cannot be held liable if they were not involved in the manufacturing or testing of the component parts, had no knowledge that the component parts were defective or unsafe, and performed their own duties in accordance to regulations and standards.

Sellers of professional services, including pharmacies. Typically, pharmacies in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California cannot be held liable for defective products (drugs and other products sold) that were manufactured by another entity. That is because a pharmacy provides only a service. Similarly, it would be difficult to hold a beauty salon liable for injuries or harm caused by a defective product used during a procedure (though not entirely impossible, as a Los Angeles product liability attorney may be able to prove the beauty salon’s liability).

Auctioneer. If you purchased a defective product at an auction, you will not be able to hold the auctioneer responsible for your injuries just because he or she accepted your bid and declared the product sold.

Residential and commercial landlords. If you are a tenant and you have been injured by a defective or dangerous product in a rented apartment, the landlord will not be held liable unless he/she participated in the manufacturing or installation of that product.

Successor corporations, which purchase the assets and goods. They are not subject to product liability when the product that caused your injuries entered the market before the acquisition of the corporation.

Have you been injured by a defective product and want to recover damages by filing a product liability lawsuit? Consult our attorneys at the Kristensen LLP. Call our offices at 310-984-1297 or complete this contact form to get a free consultation.