DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Law Firm
Call now for a Free consultation

Holding auto manufacturers, distributors, retailers liable for their role in auto accidents

This is the fifth post in a series dealing with the topic of third party lawsuits in motor vehicle accident cases, by which we mean liability for parties who were not directly involved in the accident. Last time, we looked at truck accident cases and the possibility of vicarious liability for failure to properly supervise trucking employees to ensure compliance with federal and state safety rules.

Another possibility for pursuing third party liability in motor vehicle accident cases arises when product defects contribute to the accident. When an accident is caused by vehicle defects or malfunctions, or a failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions, it is important to work with an experienced attorney to seek compensation from responsible parties, including manufacturers, distributors and sellers. 

There are several legal theories upon which product liability cases may be based. With negligence claims, an accident victim sues a manufacturer or retailer for failure to exercise reasonable care in the design or manufacture of the motor vehicle. Distributors and retailers may also be sued for failure to take reasonable care in the inspection of the vehicle or failure to provide the purchaser adequate warnings or instructions about the product. Product liability cases based on strict liability do not require proof of fault, but do require proof that the manufacturer caused the victim’s injury. Product liability cases may also be based on breach of warranty claims.

Product liability cases in the automotive industry seem to be always coming up. At present, General Motors is facing litigation over faulty ignition switches that required the recall of around 2.6 million cars and caused multiple deaths and injuries. In such cases, manufacturers and those involved in the distribution and sale of unsafe automobiles need to be held accountable to the victims of their negligence.

Source: Business Insider, “GM cites progress in ignition-switch case settlement talks,” Jessica Dye, April 20, 2016. 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Honors & Accreditations

Free Case Evaluation Form You will receive a prompt response to your evaluation.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy



East Syracuse Office
6739 Myers Road
East Syracuse, NY 13057

East Syracuse Law Office Map

Oneida Office
312 Broad Street
Oneida, NY 13421

Oneida Law Office Map

Watertown Office
119 Sherman Street
Watertown, NY 13601

Watertown Law Office Map

New Hartford Office
23 Oxford Road
New Hartford, NY 13413

New Hartford Law Office Map

Oswego Office
92 W. 6th Street
Oswego, NY 13126

Oswego Law Office Map

Cortland Office
26 Court Street
Cortland, NY 13045

Cortland Law Office Map

Rochester Office
510 Clinton Square
Rochester, NY 14604

Rochester Law Office Map

Phone: 315-479-9000
Fax: 315-479-9300
Back To Top