If you have been involved in a personal injury related to a product, you can seek damages against the manufacturer of the company for the product. In order to prevail, the individual must prove the product is defective. This one point makes product injury cases complex cases especially when the company is spending money on the other side to prove that the product was not defective. Despite Utah being conservative with its laws and usually much more pro-business, Utah with product liability cases have a much more liberal law than most states.
The State of Utah puts the injuries of individuals first and not the companies. In many states, in order to recover, the injured person has to be the actual person that bought the product and was using the product. Bystanders cannot recover. In Utah, that is not the case. Any individual can recover that has been damaged by a product. Also, in many states, the injured individual has to prove some kind of negligence on behalf of the company.
The states also puts a percentage of fault on the company as to their negligence. In Utah the injured just has to prove that the product was defective. If the product was unreasonably dangerous, with or without negligence, then the company is at fault, 100% and is on the hook for all damages that were incurred as a result.
Many product liability cases can also deal with medical equipment used in injury at a hospital or drugs that were consumed that gave unwanted side effects.
Also, there can be a product liability claim if the company fails to warn an individual on a warning label of known or possible risks or proper maintenance or equipment needed for a product. That is why most products that are proper, have warning labels on them, if they are drugs, giving the possible side-effects.
The person injured must bring an action within two years of the injury or when the person first reasonably finds there were injured by a product.
Also, in many instances, manufactures have contracts where they say that if an individual cannot bring a claim against the company in case of an injury. However, the Utah law states that those provisions can be deemed void if it is against a company and causes injury and or death. Essentially meaning, that if someone is injured by a product and it was defective, then a company cannot contract away any fault that they may have in the product.
78B-6-701 Title. This part is known and may be cited as the “Utah Product Liability Act.” Renumbered and Amended by Chapter 3, 2008 General Session
78B-6-702 Definition — Unreasonably dangerous. As used in this part, “unreasonably dangerous” means that the product was dangerous to an extent beyond which would be contemplated by the ordinary and prudent buyer, consumer, or user of that product in that community considering the product’s characteristics, propensities, risks, dangers, and uses together with any actual knowledge, training, or experience possessed by that particular buyer, user, or consumer. Enacted by Chapter 3, 2008 General Session
78B-6-703 Defect or defective condition making product unreasonably dangerous — Rebuttable presumption.
(1) In any action for damages for personal injury, death, or property damage allegedly caused by a defect in a product, a product may not be considered to have a defect or to be in a defective condition, unless at the time the product was sold by the manufacturer or other initial seller, there was a defect or defective condition in the product which made the product unreasonably dangerous to the user or consumer.
(2) There is a rebuttable presumption that a product is free from any defect or defective condition where the alleged defect in the plans or designs for the product or the methods and techniques of manufacturing, inspecting and testing the product were in conformity with government standards established for that industry which were in existence at the time the plans or designs for the product or the methods and techniques of manufacturing, inspecting and testing the product were adopted.
78B-6-704 Prayer for damages. No dollar amount shall be specified in the prayer of a complaint filed in a product liability action against a product manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer. The complaint shall merely pray for such damages as are reasonable in the premises. \
78B-6-705 Alteration or modification of product after sale as substantial contributing cause — Manufacturer or seller not liable. For purposes of Section
78B-5-818, fault shall include an alteration or modification of the product, which occurred subsequent to the sale by the manufacturer or seller to the initial user or consumer, and which changed the purpose, use, function, design, or intended use or manner of use of the product from that for which the product was originally designed, tested, or intended. Utah Code Page 2 \
78B-6-706 Statute of limitations. A civil action under this part shall be brought within two years from the time the individual who would be the claimant in the action discovered, or in the exercise of due diligence should have discovered, both the harm and its cause.
78B-6-707 Indemnification provisions void and unenforceable. Any clause in a sales contract or collateral document that requires a purchaser or end user of a product to indemnify, hold harmless, or defend a manufacturer of a product is contrary to public policy and void and unenforceable if a defect in the design or manufacturing of the product causes an injury or death.
Reach out to our Utah Products Liability and Personal Injury Law Firm and Attorney today for a further consultation on your case.