What is strict liability?

If you have gotten sick or injured after using a product, you could have grounds to file a product liability lawsuit. These claims can be effective ways of getting you compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and other damages, but they can be more complicated than you realize.

In regards to asbestos-containing products, for instance, it can be very difficult to determine who is to blame. Is it the manufacturer of the product? Is it the seller of the product? Further, determining if a party was actually negligent could be difficult as well. This is why it can be important to have some understanding of what strict liability is.

Because asbestos was widely used in products for decades, there are several parties that may be held accountable should those products expose consumers to toxic asbestos. But you as an individual can have an exceedingly difficult time proving where along the road a specific party failed to identify or warn of the potential defects or hazards.

This is why strict liability exists. According to this theory, victims of a dangerous product can still hold the seller or manufacturer of a product containing asbestos accountable without actually proving negligence or carelessness on their part.

However, there are jurisdictions where strict liability claims may not be feasible. For instance, let’s consider a company that sells furnaces. In some states, that company may be able to avoid strict liability claims if a furnace contains asbestos-containing parts made by another party but the seller did not know it.

If it did know about the asbestos, however, the company can face a negligence claim if it never warned consumers about the existence of and hazards associated with asbestos.

Broadly speaking, this means that you may have the option of pursuing a strict liability claim against manufacturers without having to prove to negligence and/or filing a negligence claim against a party who knew or should have known about the presence of asbestos but did not fulfill their duty to warn consumers.

This is a very broad overview and explanation of strict liability and negligence regarding products that contain asbestos. For more information and help understanding your specific options, it can be wise to speak with an attorney.