Business Studies Product Liability Case Study

Product Liability Case Study

In a business world marked by cutthroat competition and legal challenges, many companies have put in place quality control measures to prevent litigations arising from dangerous or defective products. This is because such litigations damage their reputations and come with huge financial implications in the form of settlements. Despite these measures, thousands of cases of injuries and poisoning caused by dangerous or defective goods are still commonplace. For many consumers who have been affected in such cases, the question of who to hold liable can be daunting without proper knowledge of the relevant laws and statutes.

In the case study, Carrie can sue both the neighborhood store from where she bought the ham with cartilage that caused her to lose her tooth. Under the product liability laws, a seller or supplier can be sued for damages for supplying dangerous or defective goods. The determination of liability of the neighborhood store is hinged on proving that their actions were deliberate or out of negligence (Logan, Mayer & Fisher, 2010). Moreover, she can sue the store for damages for failing to carry out reasonable and satisfactory steps to ensure that the ham Carrie bought was safe for consumption. Even though the salesperson cut through the ham with a machine, the dangerous cartilage was not detected.

Additionally, the neighborhood can bear the full responsibility for the dangerous ham if the management fails to identify the manufacturer of the ham. Moreover, if the store had rebranded the ham and labeled it as produced by the store then they will be fully liable for the damage caused. In case the manufacturer can prove before a court of law that the store, by such actions, interfered with the quality and safety of the ham then the store may be found fully liable to pay the damages and losses incurred by Carrie.

Carrie also has the option of solely suing the manufacturer of the ham she bought if the name is indicated on the packaging and the store acknowledges the same. For the manufacturer of the ham, Carrie can sue them for manufacturing a product that did not meet the set state food and consumer goods safety standards. If the store can prove that they did not interfere with the quality of the ham, Carrie can sue the manufacturer for damages for negligently or deliberately failing to take reasonable steps to ensure that their product is safe (Logan, Mayer & Fisher, 2010).

Alternatively, Carrie can sue both the neighborhood store and manufacturer of the ham to recover the costs of treating the root canal and the replacement. She can also sue for the resulting psychological suffering and economic loss suffered while undergoing treatment. In case the ham was processed and packaged by different firms, which might have interfered with the quality of the ham, Carrie can also opt to cast her legal net wider and sue these entities.

In conclusion, product liability cases are costly as liable parties are usually fined millions of dollars in addition to the damaging effect on their reputation. All parties that handle consumer goods from manufacturers to packagers, suppliers and sellers have the duty of care to ensure that the goods meet the set regulations and laws. The potential number of parties Carrie can sue for damages is dependent on the how many parties handled the ham before she bought it from the neighborhood store. However, these parties must have played a significant role in affecting the quality and safety of the ham she consumed.






Logan, M. A., Mayer, Z. T. & Fisher, B. J. (2010). “Products Liability: Protection for the “Innocent” Seller in Texas”. The National Law Review.