Connecticut Product Liability Laws

Connecticut is one of the wealthiest states in the country, and with all that money comes the ability to buy lots of gadgets and toys. Thankfully, the state also has its own product liability laws for when one of those products is defective and causes injuries or property damage. Whether you've been harmed by the latest boating gear or UConn tailgating equipment, you should seek compensation for the costs of that damage.

The table below lists some key aspects of Connecticut's product liability laws, followed by descriptions of the state's filing deadlines, damages rules, common defenses, and more.

Statute of Limitations

3 years (Sec. 52-577a)

Discovery Rule Used Yes (Sec. 52-577a)
Statute of Repose 10 years (with some exceptions) (Sec. 52-577a)
Limits on Damages

No economic loss rule for consumer actions (Sec. 52-572m); punitive damages limited (Sec. 52-240b)

Comparative Fault Pure Comparative Fault (Sec. 52-572h)

Time Limits

Plaintiffs in Connecticut have three years from the date of injury, death, or property damage in which to file a product liability lawsuit. This is called the "statute of limitations." However, the state's discovery rule may extend that time since the time is measured from when you knew, or should have discovered, the damage. Connecticut also has a statute of repose which bars a product liability lawsuit if more than 10 years have passed since the defendant last had possession of the product.

Limits on Damages

Under Connecticut's pure comparative negligence standard for product liability actions, you may still seek compensation even if you're partially at fault for your injuries or property damage. However, your compensation will be diminished in proportion to your degree of fault. So, a $90,000 award will be reduced to $45,000 if you're 50 percent at fault for causing your own injuries.

Connecticut is among a minority of states that do not follow the economic loss rule. Therefore, even if the only harm that occurred was to the product itself, you can still pursue a product liability case as long as you are a consumer and not a commercial party.

Theories of Liability

Connecticut's Product Liability Act allows for claims based on negligence, strict liability, and breach of warranty. These lawsuits may include claims of design defect, manufacturing defect, and failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions.

In design defect claims, the plaintiff alleges that there is something inherently flawed about the manufacturer's design. With those claims, courts usually look at consumer expectations as well as the balance between the design's benefits and risks. A manufacturing defect, on the other hand, is a flaw that occurs during the production process regardless of how safe the design is. Failure to warn cases allege that the manufacturer had a duty to warn users of unreasonably dangerous aspects of its product.

Defenses

The manufacturer or supplier in a product liability suit may deny liability by arguing that the harm was actually caused by an unanticipated modification to the product after it left the defendant's control. Another argument is that the plaintiff knowingly and voluntarily assumed the risk of using the product in a defective condition. Defendants have also denied liability in failure to warn cases by showing that the technology available to them at the time of production prevented them from knowing about a product's hazard.

Receive a Free Case Review from a Connecticut Attorney

An injury caused by a defective product should not be ignored, and manufacturers should be held accountable for their dangerous products even if you are partly to blame for your injuries. However, the right to seek compensation doesn't go on indefinitely. Get started by receiving a free claim review from a local attorney familiar with Connecticut's product liability laws.

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