July 18, 2019

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South Carolina Product Liability Law

If a defective product caused or contributed to your injuries, your case will fall under product liability. Product liability lawsuits have some notable differences from other types of personal injury lawsuits. In most cases you only need to prove strict liability rather than negligence. Defective product injury victims are often unaware of the underlying cause of their injuries for some time, which means that the “discovery rule” may apply to the statute of limitations in your case.

Read below to learn the basics of South Carolina Product Liability Law.

What You Must Prove

South Carolina product liability lawsuits can be based on one or more of the following:

  • Strict liability

  • Negligence

  • Breach of warranty

You must prove that:

  • You were injured by the product

  • Your injuries occurred because the product was defective and inherently dangerous

  • When the product caused you injuries it was in essentially the same condition as it was when it left the hands of the defendant

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is your time limit for filing your lawsuit. Once this deadline passes, you lose the right to sue for your injuries. In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for most product liability cases is three years.

The discovery rule can extend the amount of time that you have to file. You have three years from the date of injury or from the date that you discovered that a defective product caused your injury or should have reasonably discovered that a defective product was the cause.

Failure to Warn

A product does not have to break or malfunction in order for it to be defective.

For instance, some dangerous products are allowed to remain on the market as long as they carry the proper safety warnings. These products can cause injury while functioning exactly as they were meant to, but are still defective if they lack proper warnings.

Failure to warn or improper advertising typically applies to toys that do not carry proper age rating and products marketed to children too young to use them safely.

Failure to warn is also them common basis for defective drug cases because pharmaceutical companies have a duty to warn consumers and physicians about the potential side effects their drugs can cause.

Examples of Defective Products

Products which are commonly defective causing injuries or death include:

  • Vehicles and/or their parts

  • Children’s toys

  • Children’s products such as child safety seats, cribs, and strollers

  • Space heaters

  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

  • Prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications

  • Medical devices, such as transvaginal mesh

  • Lawn equipment

  • Gas grills

  • Food, often contaminated with bacteria or undeclared allergens

  • Pet food

  • Electronic devices