Product Liability


Welcome to Lawshelf’s video course on product liability. Product liability is a division of torts and personal injury law that is often the subject of class action lawsuits and routinely generates large monetary verdicts. Product liability cases are also all over the news, from tires that blow out to prescription drugs with harmful side effects to overly hot coffee served at McDonalds, product liability actions make interesting and compelling news stories.

This is an introductory level course and no previous knowledge of tort law is required, though familiarity with some basic legal terms like negligence, assumption of risk and warranty is helpful.

There are four bases of liability for defective products:

A manufacturing defect means that a mistake was made in production. The manufacturer forgot to put brake fluid in the car or the restaurant served spoiled food. We will spend a module on the standards to which manufacturers are held to ensure that their products are safe.

Another basis for liability is defective design. The product may have been produced as intended, but the design itself may be unreasonably dangerous. We’ll focus a module on this ground for liability as well. We’ll also focus on the important exception of inherently unsafe products such as guns and cigarettes.

Another module will focus on failure to warn. A product may be unavoidably unsafe even when designed and manufactured perfectly. In such case, the manufacturer and seller are still expected to provide the proper information to the consumer to give the consumer proper warning as to the danger. Warnings on everything from hot coffee to prescription drugs to swimming pools are products of this theory of liability.

The fourth basis for liability is breach of warranty. If the manufacturer or seller makes a promise (express or implied) as to how a product will perform and the product falls short, causing an injury, the manufacturer can be liable even without any defect in the product or process.

Finally, we will spend the last module on defenses common to actions for product liability. After this course, the viewer will be able to determine the grounds for liability for products that cause injuries on given fact patterns. You will also be able to apply the standards and defenses common to product liability actions.

Best of luck and we welcome your feedback.

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A LawShelf video-course is an in-depth series of presentations on a discreet legal topic. LawShelf video-courses focus on practical legal information and applications and are each designed to familiarize the viewer with a legal topic quickly and efficiently.

Who should take a video-course?

Our video courses are designed for professionals such as attorneys, paralegals, corporate officers and financial professionals, as well as laypeople looking to deepen their knowledge of particular areas of law. The courses allow you to acquire the specific knowledge and skills that you need without the expense and time commitment of going “back to school” for a degree. 

How do I learn?

Video courses are divided into 5 or 6 modules.  Each module contains a video lesson (usually about 15 minutes long) and a series of self-test questions that you can use to practice and make sure that you understand the material.

How do I complete a video-course?

To complete a video-course, you must pass a 10-question multiple-choice examination by scoring 70% or higher.  The questions on the exam are randomly selected from the self-test question sets for the various modules. You can retake an exam as many times as you need to, though you will not get the same questions each time since the questions are drawn from an exam bank.

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No. A LawShelf subscription enables you to access any and all LawShelf content, including all video-courses. You can take courses as quickly or slowly as your time allows.

Do I receive any recognition for completing a video-course?

Once you complete the course by passing the final exam, you will be awarded a digital badge to display as evidence of your training and accomplishment.

How will a digital badge help me? 

Modern educational trends are moving away from traditional classroom-based course completion models and towards skills-based education. Employers today care more about skills than ever before. LawShelf digital badges conform to the Open Badge standard and are verifiable records of your skills that can easily be shared online.

How long do I retain access to the course materials?

You retain access the modules and take the final exam as long as you are a subscriber to LawShelf.

Introduction to Product Liability-Module 1 of 5

Design Defects- Module 2 of 5

Duty to Warn- Module 3 of 5

Warranties- Module 4 of 5

Defenses to Product Liability Actions- Module 5 of 5

Final Exam only needs to be taken by those seeking to earn the Digital Badge credentials for this course.