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Navigating Product Liability Laws in Texas: A Comprehensive Guide

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PRODUCT LIABILITY – Product Liability in Texas

Product liability is a legal doctrine that holds manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, and other parties in the supply chain responsible for any harm or injury caused by defective or dangerous products they produce or sell. The Texas Products Liability Act (TPLA) governs product liability law in Texas, giving consumers the right to hold product manufacturers accountable for any injuries or damages their products cause.

This blog will dive into a comprehensive overview of product liability in Texas. It will explore the defects that can trigger product liability claims, discuss the legal theories to pursue these claims, outline the defenses defendants can use in product liability lawsuits, and highlight the damages you can recover in a successful product liability case.

Types of Product Defects

To prevail in a product liability case in Texas, a plaintiff must show that the product was defective or unreasonably dangerous when it left the manufacturer’s control. Three types of defects can give rise to a product liability claim: design, manufacturing, and marketing.

We identify design defects when the product’s design is inherently dangerous or defective, no matter the quality of its manufacture. For instance, a car’s brakes prone to failure or malfunction exemplify a design defect.

When a product, despite its correct design, undergoes incorrect manufacturing, manufacturing defects occur, leading to a dangerous or defective product. For instance, a manufacturing defect occurs when contamination during manufacturing harms consumers who take a batch of medication.

Marketing defects occur when a manufacturer fails to provide adequate warnings or instructions about the safe use of a product. For example, if a manufacturer fails to warn consumers that a particular medication can cause serious side effects when taken with other medicines, that would be a marketing defect.

Product liability, an essential area of law, holds manufacturers, distributors, and retailers accountable for any damages or injuries their products cause. In Texas, product liability is governed by common law and statutory law. In this blog, we will delve into the basics of product liability in Texas, exploring the types of claims you can file, the defenses you can use, and the damages you can recover.

Types of Claims – Product Liability in Texas

Three primary types of product liability claims can be filed in Texas: negligence, strict liability, and breach of warranty.

Negligence claims arise when the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer fails to exercise reasonable care in the design, manufacture, or sale of a product and that failure results in injury or damage to the consumer. Negligence claims require the plaintiff to prove that the defendant had a duty to exercise reasonable care, that the defendant breached that duty, and that the breach caused the plaintiff’s injuries.

Strict liability claims, on the other hand, do not require proof of negligence. Instead, severe liability claims are based on the theory that manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are responsible for any injuries or damages caused by their products, regardless of whether they were negligent. To establish a strict liability claim, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the product, which was defective and existed at the time of sale, caused their injuries.

Finally, breach of warranty claims is based on the manufacturer’s failure to fulfill the terms of a warranty, either express or implied. Express warranties are explicitly stated, either orally or in writing, while implied warranties are implied by law, such as the warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.


There are several defenses that manufacturers, distributors, and retailers may use to defend against product liability claims in Texas. One of the most common defenses is that the plaintiff was responsible for their injuries. We call this defense contributory negligence, based on the idea that the plaintiff’s actions contributed to their injuries or damages.

Another common defense is that the plaintiff assumed the risk of using the product. This defense is based on the idea that the plaintiff knew or should have known the risks associated with the product and voluntarily assumed those risks by using the product anyway.

Finally, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers may argue that the product was not defective when sold. This defense rests on the idea that the plaintiff’s actions or some other external factor caused the defect to arise after the product’s sale.


A plaintiff who succeeds in a product liability claim in Texas could qualify for various damages, including economic and non-economic damages. Monetary damages include medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage, while non-economic injuries include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium.

In addition to compensatory damages, plaintiffs may sometimes be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages punish the defendant for particularly egregious behavior, such as intentional or reckless conduct, and deter similar future behavior.


Product liability is an essential area of law that helps to protect consumers from dangerous or defective products. In Texas, product liability claims can be based on negligence, strict liability, or breach of warranty, and manufacturers, distributors, and retailers may use a variety of defenses to defend against these claims. Suppose a plaintiff is thriving in a product liability claim. In that case, they could qualify for various damages, including economic and non-economic damages and, in some instances, punitive damages.

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