Who is responsible when someone is injured because of a dangerous product? Under California law, a company that manufactures or designs a dangerous product is responsible for the resulting injuries. The next question that arises is whether a company that produces a component part incorporated into the dangerous product is also legally responsible for those injuries.
The manufacturer of a component part contained in a dangerous product may also be held responsible for the injuries. For example, the manufacturer of an airbag incorporated into a car may be responsible for injuries caused by the failure of the airbag. And, a fan manufacturer can be held liable along with a car manufacturer, such as Ford, when a fan breaks off an engine and injures someone. Gonzalez v. Autoliv ASP, Inc. (2007) 154 Cal.App. 4th 780; Springmeyer v. Ford Motor Co. (1998) 60 Cal.App.4th 1541.
A manufacturer of a component part may raise a defense that the component part is a generic or “off-the-shelf” component and therefor it should not be responsible for injuries caused by the finished product. For example, the manufacturer of silicon used in silicon breast implants was not be responsible for the defective design of the implants. Raw materials such as metal might also receive the protection of the component part defense. However, the defense requires that the component part standing alone not be defective.
We at Heimanson & Wolf routinely represent individuals who have been hurt because of defective products.