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Minnesota Product Liability Law

Defective products can cause significant personal injuries and/or property damage. For this reason, states have product liability laws to protect consumers from defective products. These laws essentially give consumers an avenue to hold the manufacturers and/or sellers responsible for their injuries and recover damages from them.

A product can be considered defective if it has a design defect, manufacturer defect, or a marketing defect. If it has a design defect, it means that something in the design made the product inherently unsafe. A manufacturer defect occurs when something during the manufacturing or assembly of the product made it dangerous. Finally, a marketing defect can occur when a product doesn't provide proper instructions for its use or lacks adequate safety warnings.

Basic Elements for a Product Liability Claim

Although there are different legal theories that a product liability claim can be based on, there are three basic elements to these cases:

  • The product is defective in a way that makes it unreasonably dangerous for its intended use;
  • The defect existed at the time it left the defendant; and
  • The defect caused injuries to the plaintiff or damaged the plaintiff's property.

The manufacturer and/or the seller can be named as a defendant in product liability lawsuits.

Minnesota Product Liability Law: The Basics

In the following chart, you'll find a basic overview of Minnesota product liability law as well as links to relevant statutes. Please remember that while summaries are very helpful, it's important to read the text of the statute for the details.


Minnesota Statutes, Civil Procedure (Ch. 540-552), Section 544.41 (Product Liability)

Legal Theories for Product Liability Lawsuits

A product liability action can be based on the following legal theories:

Time You Have to File a Claim

The statute of limitations for filing a product liability claim will depend on the legal theory that the action is based on:

Special Requirement for Product Liability Lawsuits

When you file a product liability lawsuit based on strict liability against a defendant other than the manufacturer, the defendant is required to file an affidavit certifying the correct identity of the product's manufacturer.

Once you file the complaint against the manufacturer and the manufacturer answers (or is required to have answered), the court will dismiss the strict liability claim against the certifying defendant unless it's prohibited under Section 544.41 Subd. 3.

Related Statute(s)

Minnesota Statutes, Civil Procedure (Ch. 540-552)

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Minnesota Product Liability Law: Related Resources

For additional information and resources related to this topic, please visit the links listed below.

Learn More About Minnesota Product Liability Law from an Attorney

As you can see from the information provided above, product liability can be a confusing area of law. Luckily, you don't have to figure it all out on your own. If you've been injured by a product and you're wondering if you're entitled to compensation for your injuries, speak with a local products liability lawyer who can explain how Minnesota product liability law applies to your particular situation.

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