The tort of negligence remains a central part of the law of products liability. In order to recover under a theory of negligence, a plaintiff must prove five basic elements, including the following: (1) the manufacturer owed a duty to the plaintiff; (2) the manufacturer breached a duty to the plaintiff; (3) the breach of duty was the actual cause of the plaintiff’s injury; (4) the breach of duty was also the proximate cause of the injury; and (5) the plaintiff suffered actual damages as a result of the negligent act.

In a products liability case, the law requires that a manufacturer exercise a standard of care that is reasonable for those who are experts in manufacturing similar products. However, even if a plaintiff can prove that a manufacturer has failed to exercise the proper standard of care, the plaintiff cannot recover without proving two aspects of causation. The plaintiff must first show that but for the manufacturer’s negligence, the plaintiff’s would not have been injured. The plaintiff must also show that the defendant could have foreseen the risks and uses of the product at the time of manufacturing.

Inside Negligence