Product Liability in Alaska

Think about all the products you use during the course of a day. The number can be quite staggering. Regardless of the variety of all the things you use, the one constant is that you presume that they are safe for you and your family to use and that no harm will come to you as a result of using them. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and some products do cause harm to those who use them.


Product Liability in General

When a product injures someone, it is typically considered under the field of product liability law. There are special types of liability and rules for determining that liability for companies who produce or sell products that cause injury.


Alaska’s Rules for Product Liability

Alaska, like most other states, has adopted a strict liability framework (via court decisions) for determining when a manufacturer can be held liable where a product they make injures someone. This merely means that it is not necessary to prove negligence in order to hold a manufacturer liable. This framework has been put in place primarily to keep consumers from having to delve into the manufacturing and design process to come up with how the manufacturer was actually at fault. This would be a daunting task in most instances and near impossible in many others.


Three Types of Liability

Generally speaking, in Alaska, there are three types of product liability — design defect, manufacturing defect, and failure to warn cases.


Design Defect

A claim for design defect occurs when a product injures someone when it is used as intended and it operates as intended. In other words, the product was designed in such a way that its use was, in and of itself, enough to render it harmful or injurious. This type of claim can also be raised in instances in which the risks inherent in the design of the product outweigh the benefits of the design.


Manufacturing Defect

A claim for a manufacturing defect occurs when, although the product was designed safely, it was manufactured in such a way as to deviate from the design and become dangerous to use. A good illustration of this type of claim would be a case of a bicycle being manufactured correctly except that the front wheel was constructed from inferior materials, causing the wheel to collapse when weight was placed on it.


Failure to Warn 

Failure to warn cases are often created when a product may have some inappropriate use or may combine with other products in a dangerous manner, but the manufacturer fails to warn of the dangers that certain uses may cause. An everyday example of this would be if a bleach manufacturer failed to warn that mixing the bleach with ammonia was incredibly dangerous and potentially deadly.


The one thread that often runs through any product liability case is that they are most often complicated and complex situations. Often, when a person is injured by a product, it is the case of a single individual being pitted against a large company with vast resources. Personal injury lawyers understand the intricacies of this process well and how to navigate this type of legal claim. If you live in the Anchorage area and have been hurt by a product, give the legal team at Power & Power Law a call at 907-222-9990 or toll free at 833-669-9990 or click here to set up your initial consultation. Give us a chance to show you what our expertise and experience can mean to your case.