Question: How do you prove in the State of Indiana that a product was defective to support a products liability claim?
Answer: Indiana’s Product Liability Act (“Act”) governs all actions that are brought by a user or consumer against a manufacturer or seller for physical harm caused by a product regardless of the substantive theory or theories upon which the action is brought. A product may be defective within the meaning of the Act because of a manufacturing flaw, a design defect, or a failure to warn of dangers in the product’s use. The duty to warn is two fold: 1) to provide adequate instructions for safe use, and 2) to provide a warning as to dangers inherent in improper use. In an action based on … an alleged failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions regarding the use of the product, the party making the claim must establish that the manufacturer or seller failed to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances in … providing the warnings or instructions.
Also, pursuant to the Indiana Product Liability Act (IPLA), there is a rebuttable presumption that the product that caused the physical harm was not defective and that the manufacturer or seller of the product was not negligent if it can be shown that (1) the product conformed to generally recognized state of the art applicable to the safety of the product at the time the product was designed, manufactured, packaged, or labeled, or (2) the product complied with applicable codes, regulations, ect.