Strict liability is a tort law and means a party is liable for all damages as a result of their dangerous actions or products.
“The most common strict liability claims arise from injuries caused by dangerous products. Basically, when a product causes a foreseeable harm to a consumer, the maker of the product and the distributor may be liable to pay damages. There is an exception, and that is if the product did have a warning about the possibility of an injury, the maker of that product/item isn’t always held liable,” said Brooks Schuelke, an Austin personal injury lawyer with Perlmutter & Schuelke, L.L.P.
Products that come with warning stickers about obvious hazards are labeled like that for a good reason; it protects the manufacturer from lawsuits.
Even though products may be labeled, this does not necessarily mean that the warning sticker is adequate. The best example of that is the latest rash of children’s toys being recalled or otherwise avoided. While a piece of children’s jewelry may be labeled with a warning sticker that indicates a choking hazard, it may not contain a warning about high levels of lead.
Any child that suffers injuries from being exposed to lead paint may sue the toy maker for compensation. The number of product recalls these days is overwhelming and certainly makes people in general leery of buying things and parents, in specific, jumpy about what they buy for their children.
“There are so many things to watch out for, you almost need to make a list that includes watching for fall hazards, fire risks, burn perils, laceration and puncture dangers, explosion and projectile hazards and so on. And, since some of the products on the market are ultimately dangerous for more than one reason, but this is not caught before they are sold, chances are they may get approved and put on the market. If your child has been harmed by a product like this, you’re welcome to call my office to find out what your rights are,” Schuelke said.
The second category of strict liability claims involves dangerous pets. “A pet owner or keeper may be liable for injuries caused by a pet if the owner knows that the pet has some type of dangerous propensities that aren’t typical for the type of pet,” Schuelke said.
The most obvious examples of these cases are dog bite cases. But these kind of strict liability cases apply in other situations. For example, when a pet owner knows a dog has a tendency to jump up on visitors, the owner may be liable for any injuries the dog causes when it jumps up and knocks someone down. Similarly, a horse owner might be liable for damages if the owner lets a person ride a horse known to have dangerous propensities.
“It’s not only important for victims of animal attacks to know about strict liability, but also for pet owners to know their obligations,” Schuelke said.
Contact Perlmutter & Schuelke LLP at http://www.civtrial.com or (512) 476-4944.