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Tennessee Product Liability Laws

Consumers expect that the products they purchase and use should work properly without causing harm to them or others. However, in those situations when a product causes harm, product liability laws set the guidelines for recovering damages from the manufacturer or seller of the goods that caused injury. These laws differ by state.

Overview of Tennessee Product Liability Laws

Read the chart below for a helpful, plain language overview of product liability laws in Tennessee. Because it's always a good idea to read the original source of the law, links to the relevant statutes are provided as well.


Tennessee Code Title 29. Remedies and Special Proceedings: The Product Liability Act

Standard of Proof

For a successful product liability claim, you must:

  • Show that the product was "unreasonably dangerous" or in a "defective condition" when the manufacturer put the product on the market;
  • Identify the responsible party for the defect and provide evidence that supports this; and
  • Show the connection between your injury and the manufacturer or seller that caused the defect.

Unreasonably Dangerous

This means that the product was more dangerous than the average user would've expected or that a reasonable manufacturer wouldn't have released the product if they had known of its possible danger.

Types of Defects

  • Manufacturing Defects - A defect that was formed during the manufacturing phase.
  • Design Defects - A flaw in the design (that occurred before the manufacturing process) that makes the product dangerous.
  • Marketing Defects - A product that is unsafe due to inadequate marketing or doesn't have an adequate safety warning.

Strict Liability

Tennessee recognizes strict liability in product liability claims. Strict liability holds manufacturers liable for their products regardless of whether they were negligent or not. The user must show only that they did not misuse or tamper with the product.

Defenses Against Product Liability Claims

There are numerous defenses that a company can use in product liability claims, including the following:

Rebuttable Presumption

Additionally, there's a rebuttable presumption of liability for manufacturers who comply with federal, state, or administrative regulations.

Recoverable Damages

If you prevail in a product liability action, you may receive compensation for the following:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Disfigurement
  • Lost capacity for the enjoyment of life
  • Punitive damages
Statute of Limitations; Statute of Repose
  • Personal injury: 1 year
  • Property damage: 3 years
  • Actions based on injury resulting from breast implants: Within 25 years from the surgery, or within 4 years from the date the injury was discovered.
  • Asbestos claims: within 1 year of being diagnosed with mesothelioma or other condition.

Additionally, a statute of repose prevents plaintiffs from filing a claim after the deadline. In Tennessee, the claim must be filed within 10 years after the product was sold to the first user/consumer.

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.

Tennessee Product Liability Laws: Related Resources

Get Information About Tennessee Product Liability Laws from an Attorney

If you were harmed by a defective product, you shouldn't have to bear the costs of your injury when a manufacturer or seller is to blame. To get more information about possibly filing a claim, contact a product liability lawyer in your area who is familiar with Tennessee laws and who can advise you on the best path forward.

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