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Definition of Product Liability Suit

A product liability suit is a lawsuit that a worker initiates against a party other than their employer. In return for workers' compensation benefits, in almost all instances, a worker who is injured in a work-related event is not allowed to sue their employer. Workers' compensation is an injured worker's sole remedy against their employer. However, if a worker is injured by a defective machine during the course of and arising out of the performance of their job for their employer, that worker is eligible for workers' compensation benefits from their employer or their employer's workers' compensation insurance company, and the worker can also file a product liability suit against the manufacturer of the defective machine.

For example, a worker suffers serious injuries while operating a defective fork lift at work. While the worker is not allowed to sue their employer, they are eligible for workers' compensation benefits, and they are allowed to bring a product liability suit against the manufacturer of the defective fork lift. This is also known as a third-party lawsuit. A product liability suit can mean a far greater compensation for an injured worker than workers' compensation due to the fact that the worker may receive compensation for things like pain and suffering and punitive damages. These things are not a part of the benefits provided by workers' compensation.

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