Illinois Product Liability Law

Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors.

Unlike criminal laws, civil laws protect people in the event that they're injured by another person or company by allowing them to recover for their damages. For example, if a person suffers an injury from a defective product, they may have the option of filing a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer and/or seller of that product.

How Can a Product Be Defective?

A product can be considered defective if it has defects in its:

  • Design;
  • Manufacturing; or
  • Warnings to consumers (labeling).

A design defect occurs when the design itself made the product unreasonably dangerous, and it may require a plaintiff to also show that there was a reasonable design alternative. A manufacturing defect is when the design of the product was reasonably safe, but there was a mistake made while manufacturing the product. Finally, a failure to warn occurs when a product was designed and manufactured properly, but there weren't sufficient warnings or instructions regarding foreseeable risks in using the product.

Illinois Product Liability Law: An Overview

In the table below, you can find an overview of product liability laws in Illinois, as well as links to relevant statutes. As a reminder: while reading an overview of the law is helpful, it doesn't replace reading the actual text of the law for yourself and consulting with a lawyer if you have questions.

Statute(s)

Illinois Statutes, Chapter 735, Act 5:

Types of Product Defect Claims

A product liability claim can be filed under the following legal theories:

Time Limits for Filing a Claim

The statute of limitations for filing a products liability claim is 2 years if based on personal injury, and 5 years if based on property damage.

There is also a statute of repose for products liability lawsuits, which is the first to expire in either of the following time periods:

  • 10 years from the date of first sale/lease/delivery of possession to the initial consumer/user; or
  • 12 years from the date of first sale/lease/delivery of possession by a seller.
Non-Liability When Product Defect Involves an Inherent Characteristic

A manufacture or product seller will not be held liable for harm caused by product if the harm was caused by an inherent characteristic of the product that if changed, would substantially compromise the product's usefulness or desirability.

Related Statute(s)

Illinois Statutes, Chapter 735, Act 5, Section 5/1-101, et seq. (Code of Civil Procedure)

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.

Illinois Product Liability Law: Related Resources

If you'd like more information and resources related to this topic, you can visit the links listed below.

Talk to an Attorney to Better Understand Illinois Product Liability Law

As you can see, filing a product liability claim involves an understanding of complicated legal theories as well as working within various time limits. If you were injured by a particular product, it's a good idea to get in touch with a local products liability attorney who can analyze the facts of your case to determine if you have a valid product liability claim against the manufacturer and/or seller.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.