Product liability law involves dangerous and defective products that cause injuries to consumers. Defects typically refer to a defect in the product manufacture, the product design, or a failure to warn of the product’s potential danger. Parties that may be defendants include the manufacturer, wholesaler, seller, product designer/engineer, and just about anyone else that was involved in the chain from product creation to the retail sale.

Product liability law can be thorny because it involves many rules, exceptions, and defenses and it varies from state to state. If you have been injured by a defective product, contact a Wheeling product liability attorney to discuss the facts of your case. Our product liability team wants to protect innocent consumers from defective and dangerous products and we want to see that responsible parties are held accountable for their defective products.


There are three theories of recovery that are commonly asserted in product liability cases and are briefly described below:

  • Negligence – In general, the plaintiff in a product liability negligence claim will need to show that the defendant/s breached a duty of care owed to the plaintiff when the defendant’s negligence resulted in a defective product causing injury to the plaintiff.
  • Strict liability – West Virginia’s strict liability law allows defendants to be found liable for defective products that caused injury to a consumer plaintiff without having to prove that the defendant was negligent.
  • Breach of warranty – A breach of warranty product liability claim asserts that the defendant breached an express or implied warranty such as an implied warranty that the product is safe to use in the manner it is expected to be used.


As mentioned above, different states have different product liability laws so one Ohio Valley state’s law may be different than the law of the state next door. West Virginia recently enacted what is known as the innocent seller legislation, which is meant to protect innocent sellers of products sold after July 6, 2017 from liability. Sellers will not be liable for products sold after that date unless one of a number of exceptions applies. See the list below that covers some of those exceptions.

  • The seller had knowledge of the defect.
  • The seller altered or modified the product without the manufacturer’s knowledge or direction and not in compliance with the manufacturer’s specification.
  • The seller made an express warranty about the product that had not been made by the manufacturer.
  • The seller did not exercise reasonable care in the storage, maintenance, transport, or repair of the product.
  • The seller removed the manufacturer’s labels or warnings from the product prior to sale.

As you can see, product liability law can be tricky and it is important to find an attorney who is knowledgeable about product liability and applicable laws. Our Wheeling product liability attorneys at Shenderovich, Shenderovich and Fishman are knowledgeable and aggressive victim advocates who want to see that you receive the compensation you deserve for the injuries you sustained due to a defective product.

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