| Added On August 10, 2011
Products liability cases emerge in situations in which a product is dangerously defective and injures or kills a consumer. The defect could be one of a faulty design or improper assembly by the manufacturer. In many states, products liability suits are filed under the legal doctrine of strict liability. Strict liability affords little or no defense to the manufacturer/corporate defendant. If the court is satisfied that a product manufactured, designed or sold by the defendant injured the plaintiff, the defendant is considered liable. It does not matter how safe the product is or whether the defendant took all the precautions in the world.
In a recent products liability action, four riders of Harley Davidson motorcycles are seeking to commence a class action against the manufacturer for severe leg burns sustained by overheating pipes. The lawsuit began with four joint plaintiffs and, as in any class action suit, the parties needed permission from the court to move forward as a class- a status affording them the opportunity to join plaintiffs from across the nation against the motorcycle maker.
The lawsuit specifically names dangerous defects in the 1999 Twin Cam engines. Namely, the engines are prone to overheating and causing severe leg burns. The lawsuits go as far as to contend that Harley Davidson participated in illegal unfair business practices, fraud, violations of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act and unjust enrichment.
An element of any products liability action is to determine whether the defect is material so as to likely alter the consumer’s course of action had he known of the defect. Plaintiffs in this case contend that any reasonable consumer would avoid purchasing the Harleys with the defect because the danger greatly outweighs the utility of the product part. In addition, plaintiffs claim that Harley knew of the defects since 1999 and failed to adequately warn consumers of the substantial likelihood of injury.