When Defective Products Cause Personal Injury, Who Is To Blame?

 In Blog, Defective Products, Personal Injury

As the weather turns from winter to spring, many of us will find ourselves motivated to clean up the yard around our home. Often times this means using tools and equipment that should probably require a class before we’re allowed to try to operate them. But even on the rare occasion when we know what we’re doing, that equipment can sometimes fail through no fault of our own, causing very serious personal injury claims. The question of who should be held responsible when these types of injury occur can sometimes be extremely complicated.

Hypothetically Speaking…

Say a defective product clearly branded with a company’s name injures you. It seems simple enough, that company should be held responsible. But what if that company has since been sold or merged with another company?

Generally, where two companies are merged, the successor corporation remains liable for the predecessor’s debts and liabilities, aka their defective products. On the other hand, when a company purchases all or substantially all of another company’s assets, the purchasing company does not necessarily assume the seller company’s liabilities. This general rule of “successor liability” protects corporations that have had all of the assets of another corporation transferred to it from the debts and liabilities of the transferor.

“Product Line” Exception

Depending on which state you choose to file a claim, there are a number of exceptions to the successor liability rule, which operate to shift the liability to the purchasing company. One such exception is the “product line” exception, which assigns liability to the successor company that continues to produce the same type of product as the original company for defects in units of the same product line.

Call Sarah Nelson, P.C. for the Help You Deserve

In Oregon, courts refuse to recognize certain exceptions such as the “product line” exception described above. This can make finding the responsible party especially difficult. If your gardening days have been cut short due to a defective product that caused you injury, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can take you through the nuances of Oregon law to make sure the right party is held accountable.