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What Does Chain of Distribution Mean in a Product Liability Lawsuit?

On Behalf of | Aug 15, 2016 | Personal Injury

When you or your child suffers injuries because of a defective product, it is your legal right to pursue a product liability lawsuit to recover compensation for the injuries. Like other parts of the law, defective product lawsuits are complex. One of the first things that you will need to do after you have decided to file the lawsuit is to name the entities whom you are holding liable for the injuries. This entails inquiring about the chain of distribution for the product.

Manufacturer Typically, the manufacturer is the first entity on the chain of distribution. Sometimes, this is a well-known international or multinational corporation, while other times, the manufacturer is a small-town or locally owned business. Many products are manufactured by two or more companies. In this case, you will want to name the manufacturers of all of the parts as defendants in your lawsuit. For example, if your injuries were from a cell phone battery that exploded, you could name both the manufacturer of the battery and the manufacturer of the cell phone as defendants. Distributor/Wholesaler These stand in the middle of the chain of distribution. After a product is manufactured, the product is then shipped off to the distributor or wholesaler. Because these companies are part of the chain of distribution, they can also be held accountable for any injuries the dangerous product causes. Retailer Another entity that you can hold accountable for your injuries is the store where you bought the product. Defective product lawsuits also allow you to sue a retailer if someone else was using a product and you were injured by that product. The retailer is usually the direct link to the customer. Therefore, although the manufacturer created the defective product, the retailer is responsible for ensuring that the products they sell to the general public are safe for consumer use. An important factor that you need to understand about product liability lawsuits is that you do not have to choose just one of the companies that is part of the chain of distribution. The reason why you want to consider every company that is part of the chain of distribution of a dangerous product is because you may be able to hold them all liable for your injuries. Often, multiple parties are named as defendants in product liability lawsuits. Call Us For Help With Your Tulsa Product If you’ve been injured by a defective product, you need to take action now with an experienced Tulsa product liability lawyer. Contact Frasier, Frasier & Hickman, LLP today at 918-779-3658 for a free consultation.


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