New Jersey Product Liability Laws

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

Manufacturers have an obligation to New Jersey consumers to ensure that their products are safe and will not cause harm. When injury does occur, New Jersey products liability laws allow consumers to recover damages from the manufacturer or seller, or both.

Types of Products Liability Lawsuits

There are three basic types of products liability lawsuits in New Jersey based on the following defects:

  • Design defects;
  • Manufacturing defects; and
  • Marketing/warning defects.

Recoverable Damages

In most personal injury lawsuits, the injured person seeks compensatory damages to compensate them for their losses, including economic damages (medical costs, lost wages) and non-economic damages (pain and suffering). Additionally, New Jersey allows punitive damages to punish the wrongdoer under certain circumstances. These damages are capped at either $350,000 or five times the amount of compensatory damages, whichever is greater.

New Jersey Products Liability Laws at a Glance

Getting a handle on the law means knowing what it says, but this isn't always easy to figure out. Laws are usually written in dense legalese which is why it can be helpful to have a breakdown of the law in plain English. We've done just that with the chart below which is a breakdown of New Jersey product liability laws to help guide your research.

Statute

New Jersey Revised Statutes:

  • Section 2A: 58C-1 (The New Jersey Product Liability Act)

Defective Design Claims

 

 

Allegation

The designer failed to use reasonable care to determine whether the product as designed posed an unreasonable risk of threat or harm. No consideration is given as to whether the product was properly manufactured.

Standard of Proof

The injured person must show:

  • That the risks of the product as designed outweighed its usefulness; or
  • That the product could have been designed in a way the minimized or eliminated the risk of harm.

Defective Manufacturing Claims

Allegation

The product was carelessly assembled, constructed, manufactured, fabricated or built, regardless of whether there was reasonable care in the design of the product.

The defective manufacture may involve:

  • Substandard materials;
  • Carelessness in overseeing the manufacturing process;
  • Improperly training the workers who manufactured the product; or
  • Failing to properly inspect the product after manufacture.

Standard of Proof

The plaintiff must only prove that the product "deviated from the design specifications of the manufacturer" or from what are considered identical units produced according to the same standards or specifications.

Defective Marketing (Failure to Warn) Claims

Allegation

The product contained inadequate warning labels or instruction for proper use.

Standard of Proof

The injured person must demonstrate that the product didn't include warnings or instructions that "a reasonable person would have provided in the same or similar circumstances."

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.

New Jersey Product Liability Laws: Related Resources

Discuss New Jersey Product Liability Laws with a Lawyer

New Jersey product liability laws are complex and the claims are equally confusing. However, they're a necessary part of the process for getting relief. If you've suffered injuries because of a dangerous or defective product, you should discuss the situation with a local New Jersey products liability attorney.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.