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Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorneys > Blog > Defective Drugs > Application Of Strict Liability

Application Of Strict Liability

In most personal injury lawsuits based on negligence, a plaintiff bears the burden of proving that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty, the defendant breached that duty, the defendant’s breach of that duty directly or proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries, and that the plaintiff suffered some harm as a result. However, in some negligence lawsuits, the plaintiff is not required to prove all these elements in order to receive compensation.

In some cases, a defendant is said to have strict liability. Generally, in a strict liability case the judge or jury are not looking for the defendant’s fault or breach of duty, however, the plaintiff does have to prove that he was injured and defendant should be held responsible.

There are some cases that are based on strict liability as a matter of a law. For example, if a person is bitten by a dog in Florida, the owner of the dog is strictly liable for the person’s injuries, whether or not the dog has bitten someone else in the past, or whether or not the owner was aware of the dog’s propensity to biting people. Another area where strict liability comes into place is with defective products.

Strict Liability And Defective Products

Under Florida law, a consumer can sue a manufacturer of a defective product directly if he is injured as a result of a product that the manufacturer is in the business of selling, and one which the manufacturer intended would go to the consumer in the same general condition as it is sold. In defective product cases, the person who buys the product is not the only person who may seek compensation. Other foreseeable users such as those in the buyer’s family can also sue the manufacturer if they suffer any injuries.

The manufacturer may still be held liable despite taking all possible care in the manufacture of the product. However, the manufacturer’s liability may not be as straight forward in a case where the injured consumer made extensive alterations to the product before using it, as these alterations may change the product and affect the way it was foreseeably intended to be used. It is important to note that a manufacturer can use the doctrine of comparative negligence as a defense in a product liability lawsuit. This means the manufacturer can ask the judge or jury to look into the actions of the plaintiff in the causing of their injuries, as long as the manufacturer is not arguing that the plaintiff should have discovered the defects and fixed them to avoid injury.

Application To Drug Manufacturers

The application of this strict liability standard to prescription drug manufacturers may be somewhat different from its application to manufacturers of other products. In some states, strict liability cannot be applied to prescription drug manufacturers. In Florida, some courts have made the determination to exclude drug manufacturers from the strict liability standard on a case by case basis. Even when the strict liability standard does not apply, the plaintiff may be able to proceed with the case based on a theory of negligence.

Contact A Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured while using a defective drug, you may be able to get compensation for those injuries. Florida law limits the amount of time a person may sue for injuries caused by a defective drug, contact the experienced Fort Lauderdale drug litigation attorneys from Boone & Davis for a consultation today.

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