Just like other states, Arizona has its own rules for determining liability when a defective product causes injury or property damage. The Copper State's product liability laws are meant to hold manufacturers and sellers accountable for their dangerous products, and allow you to seek monetary compensation for any injuries they cause.
Theories of Liability for Product Liability Claims
A product liability action in Arizona can be based on negligence or strict liability. As the plaintiff, you must prove that the defendant manufactured or sold a defective product that was unreasonably dangerous, and that the product caused injury or property damage. Claims may include allegations of:
Defenses to Product Liability Claims
The defendant in a product liability suit may argue that they aren't liable because the defect was the result of a process that was state of the art at the time. They may also contend that the real cause of the harm was substantial modification or misuse that was not reasonably foreseeable. Lastly, a defendant could deny liability in a food product defect case by showing that the plaintiff's overconsumption was the real cause of the injury.
Overview of Arizona Product Liability Laws
The table below lists important aspects of Arizona's product liability laws and provides links to relevant statutes. Please remember that while reading a summary of the law is helpful, it's important to get the details from reading the actual statutes as well.
Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 12, Chapter 6, Article 9, Section 12-681, et seq. (Product Liability)
|Statute of Limitations||
The statute of limitations for filing a product liability lawsuit in Arizona is two years.
|Discovery Rule Used||
Yes (Lawhon v. L.B.J. Institutional Supply, Inc., 765 P. 2d 1003, 1007 (Ct. App. 1988))
|Statute of Repose||
No (Section 12-551 declared unconstitutional in Hazine v. Montgomery Elevator, 861 P.2d 625 (Ariz. 1993))
Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 12. Courts and Civil Proceedings
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Limits on Damages in Arizona
Arizona limits damages via its pure comparative negligence rule. Under this rule, you may still recover damages even if you're partly at fault for the accident, but those damages will be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault. So, if you would have been awarded $50,000, but you're 60 percent to blame for your injuries, your award is reduced to $20,000. However, you're barred from any recovery if you intentionally caused or contributed to the harm.
Arizona also has an intermediate economic loss rule that applies when there is no contract between the parties and the only harm that occurs is to the product itself. In these cases, you might still recover damages, but you must show that the product was unreasonably dangerous and the loss occurred in a sudden, accidental manner.
Have Specific Questions About Arizona Product Liability Laws? Ask a Lawyer
There are a number of different ways to argue a product liability lawsuit, and the best approach depends on the specific facts of your case. If you've been injured or suffered property damage as a result of a defective product, you shouldn't have to bear those costs alone, but you need to act promptly because there are time limits for filing your claim. Get in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney today who can explain how Arizona's product liability laws affect your case.
Contact a qualified attorney.