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Strict Liability

Strict liability is a legal doctrine that holds a person liable for the damages caused by his or her actions regardless of the level of care he or she used.

It is applied commonly in two situations: products liability and inherently dangerous situations.

Products Liability

Under South Carolina law, a seller that is in the business of selling a product is liable for any defective, unreasonably dangerous condition that harms the product’s buyer or the ultimate user of that product.

This applies to both bodily injuries and harm to property. For strict liability to apply, the product must reach the injured user in the same general condition it was in upon sale.

It is irrelevant whether the product is under warranty or whether the product is off the shelf or custom-made. Strict liability does not apply in cases where a non-defective product is negligently installed.

The Three Things the Plaintiff Must Prove for Strict Products Liability

There are three requirements that the plaintiff must prove to hold a seller strictly liable.

They must first prove that the product was defective and dangerous for its intended use. The plaintiff must then show that the defect existed at the time of sale. Finally, they must show that the defect was a proximate cause of their injury.

Unintended Uses and Material Alterations

Strict products liability requires that the defect existed at the time of sale. If the defect is a result of alterations by the plaintiff, strict liability is not available.

Similarly, if the product is not used as intended, strict liability once again may not apply. If your leaf blower has a defect, but you are injured while using it as a hair dryer, you will probably not be able to recover under a strict liability theory for your injuries.

Who can the Plaintiff be?

In a strict liability products action, the plaintiff can be any person that would reasonably be expected to come into contact with the product’s flaws. This can include not only the purchaser, but also their family, co-workers, or friends.

Who can the Defendant be?

Defendants can include retail sellers, sellers of component parts, and manufacturers.

The South Carolina Defective Products Act uses the term seller to define who may be liable for defective products. A sale is not required. Rather, if a merchant provides a component or product to someone free of charge, they can still be liable as a seller.

Strict Liability and Inherently Dangerous Situations

Some activities or situations are so dangerous that any resulting harm results in strict liability. Using explosives or ultrahazardous chemicals generally triggers strict liability. Whether an activity is abnormally dangerous is determined on a case-by-case basis.


Our Attorneys

injury lawyer kirk morgan

Kirk Morgan


injury lawyer billy walker

Billy Walker


injury lawyer will walker

Will Walker


injury lawyer chuck slaughter

Chuck Slaughter


Types of Burns

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Degrees of Burns

First , second , and third degree burns

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Burn Injuries

There are many types of burn injuries

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Scald Burn Injury

Caused when very hot liquids come into contact with skin

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Electrical Burns

Electricity can burn the skin and is capable of causing internal damage

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Chemical Burns

Caused when a strong acid or base comes into direct contact with skin

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Car/Boating Accidents

Thermal burns can occur if the car catches fire or explodes

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Gas Explosions

Caused when a gas leak combines with an ignition source

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Worker’s Compensation

If you've been burned on the job, you may need legal guidance

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E-Cigarette Burns

Can be caused by defective batteries or overheated vapor

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