Oregon Product Liability and Defective Product FAQs
Who is responsible for my injuries if I am injured by a defective product?
Answer: Under Oregon’s Product Liability statutes (ORS § 30.900 et seq.), if you are injured by a defective product, then the manufacturer, distributor, seller or lessor of the product may be held liable for your personal injury, death, or property damages.
How long do I have to file an Oregon Product Liability claim?
Answer: Time limitations for filing Oregon product liability claims vary for different types of products and type of injury. In general, claims for personal injury or property damage must be filed within 2 years of discovering the injury, and within 10 years after the date the product was first purchased for use. Claims for death must be filed within three years after the death of the individual, and within 10 years after the date the product was first purchased for use. In addition, all Oregon product liability claims are subject to the expiration of any “statute of ultimate repose”. This means that product liability claims may be barred after the expiration of a defined time period, usually established after the product is first delivered or installed, rather than the date that the product caused harm. In addition, there are exceptions to these general time limitations for damages associated with an asbestos-related disease, breast implants, and other specific products. This makes it imperative that you have an experienced Portland Product Liability Attorney review your potential case as soon as possible in order to establish and protect your rights.
What kinds of compensation can I ask for in my Oregon product liability claim?
Answer: Settlements for Oregon product liability claims may include the following types of damages:
- Medical expenses for both past and future treatments
- Disability and disfigurement
- Lost wages
- Impaired earning capacity (i.e., loss of future income)
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
What must I prove to win my Oregon Product Liability case?
Answer: Under Oregon law, to win a strict Oregon product liability case you must prove:
- The manufacturer (defendant) engaged in the business of manufacturing, distributing, and/or selling the product;
- The product was defective and unreasonably dangerous;
- The product was not modified prior to being sold to you.
For a product to be defective it must be proven that the product design is unsafe, was manufactured incorrectly, used defective materials, or had inadequate instructions or warnings. To determine if a product is unreasonably dangerous Oregon uses a consumer expectation test (CET), which states “[A] product in a defective condition is “unreasonably dangerous” if it is dangerous to an extent beyond that which would be contemplated by the ordinary consumer who purchases it, with the ordinary knowledge common to the community as to its characteristics.” As is the case with many legal statements, this definition can be confusing and open to interpretation. This is why it is important to discuss your case with an experienced Portland Product Liability Lawyer.
Are manufacturers liable for injuries caused by defective products even though the product contains a warning label?
Answer: Yes. Label warnings and manufacturing defects are recognized as being different in Oregon courts. Just because a warning label may caution against using a product does not mean that such a warning makes the product safe or excuses the manufacturer from liability associated with a defective product.