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Defective Motorcycle Gear & Product Liability Laws In California

May 10, 2017 | Personal Injury Information

Defective Motorcycle Gear & Product Liability Laws In California

Many times, product liability lawsuits can arise out of a motorcycle accident. Manufacturers and sellers can be held liable for personal injury-related expenses, such as medical expenses, when a motorcyclist’s injuries are caused by or even worsened by defective motorcycle product and motorcycle protective gear.

“A manufacturer, distributor, or retailer is liable in tort if a defect in the manufacture or design of its product causes injury while the product is being used in a reasonably foreseeable way.” (Soule v. GM Corp. (1994) 8 Cal.4th 548, 560 [34 Cal.Rptr.2d 607, 882 P.2d 298], internal citations omitted.)

Often, motorcycle protective gear or motorcycle products can cause a motorcycle accident to occur or exacerbate injuries sustain due to motorcycle accident, such as faulty motorcycle tires, a defective motorcycle helmet, or a defective motorcycle jacket. Other motorcycle products can exacerbate a motorcyclist’s injuries in the event of an accident, such as a defective motorcycle helmet or motorcycle jacket.

How Can A Product Be Defective?

One way motorcycle products and motorcycle gear may be considered defective, is if the manufacturer that produces motorcycle products and gear fails to warn the consumer of a known risk in using their product, and/or fails to provide the consumer a warning label on the product.

California Products Liability Lawsuits and Strict Liability

Under state law, lawsuits involving product liability in California are considered as “strict liability“. Strict liability means that a Plaintiff does not have to show negligence on the part of the manufacturer or anyone in the chain of distribution to recover money damages due to the defective product. However, the Plaintiff must meet your burden of proof in order to recover monies for injuries sustained. A experienced Glendale motorcycle product liability attorney can help you recover money damages for personal injury sustained due to a defective motorcycle product, such as motorcycle helmet, motorcycle tires, motorcycle protective gear.

“Strict liability has been invoked for three types of defects—manufacturing defects, design defects, and ‘warning defects,’ i.e., inadequate warnings or failures to warn.” (Anderson v. Owens- Corning Fiberglas Corp. (1991) 53 Cal.3d 987, 995 [281 Cal.Rptr. 528, 810 P.2d 549].)

“A manufacturer is strictly liable in tort when an article he places on the market, knowing that it is to be used without inspection for defects, proves to have a defect that causes injury to a human being… The purpose of such liability is to insure that the costs of injuries resulting from defective products are borne by the manufacturers that put such products on the market rather than by the injured persons who are powerless to protect themselves.” (Greenman v. Yuba Power Products, Inc. (1963) 59 Cal.2d 57, 62—63 [27 Cal.Rptr. 697, 377 P.2d 897].)

What is The Strict Liability Doctrine?

“[T]he doctrine of strict liability may not be restricted on a theory of privity of contract. Since the doctrine applies even where the manufacturer has attempted to limit liability, they further make it clear that the doctrine may not be limited on the theory that no representation of safety is made to the bystander. [¶¶] If anything, bystanders should be entitled to greater protection than the consumer or user where injury to bystanders from the defect is reasonably foreseeable. Consumers and users, at least, have the opportunity to inspect for defects and to limit their purchases to articles manufactured by reputable manufacturers and sold by reputable retailers, whereas the bystander ordinarily has no such opportunities. In short, the bystander is in greater need of protection from defective products which are dangerous, and if any distinction should be made between bystanders and users, it should be made, contrary to the position of defendants, to extend greater liability in favor of the bystanders.” (Elmore v. American Motors Corp. (1969) 70 Cal.2d 578, 586 [75 Cal.Rptr. 652, 451 P.2d 84].)

What Do You Need In Product Liability Lawsuits In California?

In most, if not all motorcycle products liability cases, in order to not only strengthen your case, but prove your case, an expert witness testimony is required to prove that there was a manufacturing or design defect in a product.

California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) Series 1200 – Products Liability

In California civil lawsuits, jurors are given jury instructions in order to help them determine whether the Defendant(s) should be held liable for injuries caused to the Plaintiff(s). A list of jury instructions can be found on the CACI Series 1200 Products Liability Section.

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