Imagine if every transaction for every product was like buying a used car from some guy who placed an ad on the internet. “Let the buyer beware.” For thousands of years, that was what a purchaser was expected to do, and anyone who was injured by a defective product had no legal recourse.
Mr. Winterbottom and the Defective Mail Coach
Mr. Winterbottom, an English coach driver, was seriously hurt when the badly-constructed mail coach he was driving collapsed in 1842. Mr. Wright, the manufacturer of the defective coach, had sold the coach to the Postmaster General, who then signed a contract with a horse dealer for horses for the coach. The horse dealer hired Mr. Winterbottom to be the driver.
Mr. Winterbottom sued Mr. Wright, but his case was dismissed because Mr. Winterbottom did not have a contract with Mr. Wright. Although everyone agreed that Mr. Wright’s poor construction methods were the cause of Mr. Winterbottom’s injuries, the judges did not want to set a precedent. They did not want anyone to be able to sue for injuries caused by a defective product unless they had a personal contract with the manufacturer.
Product Liability Laws – 173 Years After Mr. Winterbottom
It took many years and many landmark cases, but present-day consumers are able to hold manufacturers, retailers or distributors liable for injuries caused by their negligence. Without this long series of lawsuits over the past 173 years, it would still be a case of “let the buyer beware.”
Product liability laws are based upon the belief that a consumer has a right to buy a product, use it in the manner intended and not be harmed as a result. It is not necessary for each consumer to sign a contract with everyone involved with a product before they buy it. Products became safer for everyone when there were consequences for manufacturing unsafe products.
When someone has been injured because of a defective product and has a product liability claim, they deserve to be compensated for their injuries. Everyone benefits if future products are manufactured without that dangerous defect.
If you have been injured by a defective product and believe that you have a product liability claim, contact Nettles Law Firm. This Nevada law firm is familiar with product liability laws in Nevada and will work hard to achieve a positive resolution for your case.
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