Theories of Liability for Defective Product Claim

One element that must be proven in a product liability case is the fact that the product’s defect caused the plaintiff’s injury. The theories of liability describe the different ways that a defective product can cause a given injury.

Breach of stated warranty

The typical consumer expects a product to perform well up until the date mentioned on its warranty. Products that undergo a breakdown before that date demonstrate evidence that the broken product suffered a breach of the stated warranty. If a consumer has paid for an extended warranty, then the point of the permitted breakdown gets moved to a later date.

Breach of implied warranty

This differs from the issue with the stated warranty by relating to the fitness of the product’s purpose, as opposed to its performance. If a knife was so dull that it failed to cut a piece of hard bread, then it would become an excellent example of a breach of implied warranty.

Strict product liability

The definition for strict product liability differs from state to state and province to province. This theory gets used with products that are known to introduce a limited amount of danger to the user. The danger must remain of a limited nature, or the marketed item can be said to demonstrate strict product liability.


This theory alleges negligence on the part of the person or company that made the defective product. Negligence refers to lack of care. Lack of care could relate to the actual making or designing the product. In addition, it could relate to the addition of, or the absence of specific marketing materials, such as a warning label or a set of instructions.

The role of the theories given above

No matter how well any of the 4 theories described above illustrates the nature of a given product’s defect, that same theory proves insufficient for winning a defective product liability claim. Instead that theory must be incorporated into a presentation of the 4 elements that are part of a successful product liability claim.

A good attorney should understand how to incorporate that theory into the argument that must be made in the courtroom. That argument needs to state that the product’s defect caused the plaintiff’s injury. Then that statement ought to be followed by some proof, usually one that relies on clear recitation of a theorization.

The information in each of these theories offers guidance on the way to prove the link between the injury and the defect. That information indicates where and how the defect might have arisen. It then becomes the personal injury lawyer’s job in Sherwood Park to match one of the established theories with the circumstances surrounding the incident that revealed the product’s defective nature.