Purchasing a reliable product should be a reasonable exercise of personal freedom. The last thing you should be concerned about is whether or not the product works as advertised or is inexplicably dangerous. However, this can sometimes happen thanks to manufacturing errors, design flaws, or a lack of proper instructions on how to use the product. California product liability laws exist to protect consumers from faulty products.

California Product Liability Laws

What Are the California Product Liability Laws?

Under California state law, anyone who is responsible for developing, manufacturing, or distributing merchandise of any kind bears responsibility if that merchandise is inherently defective, lacked sufficient instructions on proper usage, or was improperly manufactured. Failure to adhere to adequate design standards could open up every level of a product’s conception, from designer to manufacturer to seller, to potential legal action.

In the event of a product liability case, certain factors have to be considered when deciding on a possible settlement amount. It is not enough for you to claim that the product is dangerous or defective. You need to be able to prove that the product was manufactured incorrectly. Other factors that come into play are:

  • The type of product
  • How you used it
  • Whether you attempted to use it as advertised or used it for something else
  • Whether the product injured you in any capacity

Products that are more commonly defective than others include children’s toys, vehicles, and cosmetics. They could cause a multitude of injuries that range in severity. The more severe your injuries, the more you should receive in compensation.

Proving Product Liability in California

A product liability claim is made using one of three distinct areas. If you can prove through hard evidence that the product in question was faulty in either the design, the manufacture, or the distribution, you may have a valid claim. Here are the three distinct areas that can lead to a product liability case:

  • Defective Design: Designing a product is not easy, and sometimes, certain factors are not taken into consideration or even noticed until the product is already well into the design phase. Sometimes, it is not noticed until the product is already being sold in stores. A defective design can lead to a blatant case of product liability and could even result in certain products being removed from stores forever.
  • Manufacturer Defect: A product’s design may be theoretically sound, and the problem may not emerge until the design is manufactured on a grand scale. Sometimes, the product is rushed to meet deadlines, and the manufacturers have not had any time to adequately test the product in question.Other times, the manufacturers simply do not put the proper effort into assembling a product that works, resulting in a defect. In this case, liability will likely lie with the manufacturer.
  • Lack of Adequate Warning: It is the product manufacturer’s job to provide adequate warnings on products that could potentially harm you if used incorrectly. The product may not be defective at all, but liability could still lie with the manufacturer or distributor if someone is hurt by the product and was not warned about it beforehand via a label.

For example, elements of vehicle maintenance, such as brake fluid or wiper fluid, do their job well when used correctly. There is a label on those products that warns people against getting those fluids in their eyes or in open wounds. That label protects the manufacturer from any product liability if somebody were to get brake fluid in their eyes.


Q: What Is the Product Liability Law in California?

A: The product liability law in California ensures that anyone who is involved in the development of a product, such as manufacturers, distributors, and sellers, is responsible for developing a product that performs as advertised, is not defective, and contains obvious warnings of any potential safety hazards that could injure consumers. Any company whose products are sold on the market in California must adhere to these laws or risk opening themselves up to legal action.

Q: What Are the Elements of a Product Liability Claim in California?

A: The elements of a product liability claim in California will be provable statements that reinforce the product’s failure to perform as advertised, as well as the harm it may have brought upon the user. Those elements can include:

  • The product in question was defective due to a design flaw, a manufacturing error, or a lack of adequate warning.
  • The defect in question was present prior to the manufacturer releasing the product onto the market.
  • The plaintiff suffered an injury or a loss due to the product.

Q: How Am I Able to Prove the Product Is Defective?

A: The most effective way to prove that a product is defective is to consult with an experienced product liability lawyer in California who can help you gather the necessary evidence to do so. They can help you determine where the product’s faults are, who is responsible for them, and how to develop your case from there. Documenting your experience with the product, such as your wounds or any damage that product caused, is a good first step.

Q: Does California Have a Statute of Limitations for Product Liability?

A: Yes, California does have a statute of limitations for product liability cases. The statute of limitations for product liability cases in California is two years. It can take some time to fully develop your case with your attorney, so you may want to get started as soon as possible. The two-year deadline can arrive quickly. If you fail to submit a claim before that deadline arrives, your case may be thrown out.

Contact a Product Liability Lawyer Today

Everyone wants the products they’ve purchased to work properly. When they cause an injury, it is important to hold the liable companies accountable for their actions. We can help you do so.

Easton & Easton can assist you in developing your product liability case and make sure you receive appropriate compensation for the devastating damages you’ve dealt with. Contact us to schedule a consultation for your product liability case today.