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Wisconsin Law On Strict Liability

In Wisconsin, If you believe you were injured due to a defective or unreasonably dangerous product, you may have a product liability claim. Product liability claims can be pled as negligence, strict liability, or breach of warranty actions.

Read more: What is Product Liability?

Strict Product Liability:

A product is defective if it contains a manufacturing defect, is defective in design, or is defective because of inadequate instruction or warnings. A product contains a manufacturing defect if the product departs from its intended design, even though all possible care is exercised in the manufacture of the product. A product is defective in design if the foreseeable risks of harm posed by the product could have been reduced or avoided by the adoption of a reasonable alternative design and the omission of the alternative design renders the product not reasonably safe.

The plaintiff has the burden of proving:

  • The defective condition rendered the product unreasonably dangerous to persons or property
  • The defective product existed at the time the product left the control of the manufacturer
  • The product reached the user or consumer without substantial change in the condition in which it was sold
  • The defective condition was the cause of the claimant’s damages

An important and interesting thing to remember is that a manufacturer can do everything right in regard to design, testing, and manufacturing and still be liable for strict product liability if the injured party can prove that a foreseeable risk of harm, that is posed by the product, could have been reduced or avoided by the adoption of a reasonable alternative design.

Read more: Types of Personal Injury Claims


This occurs when a party within the supply chain (a manufacturer, retailer, distributor, or wholesaler), falls below the standard of care in designing, constructing, inspecting, or warning about a product and its uses.

Breach of Warranty:

A warranty cause of action may be pled, arising out of a product failure, although a warranty claim is subject to certain defenses, such as notice, privity, and limitations on recoverable damages. There may exist both an express warranty and an implied warranty in the same sale. The most significant implied warranties relate to merchantability and fitness for the intended purpose.

Should I Hire A Product Liability Lawyer?

If you believe that you have a product liability claim, the best thing to do is to hire a product liability lawyer.
Our product liability attorneys at Habush Habush & Rottier can determine whether you have a legal claim, investigate the product, contact industry experts, and work with your medical care team to provide you the compensation you deserve.

Attorney Timothy S. Trecek

Milwaukee, West Bend
In 2020, as lead trial counsel, Tim Trecek obtained a $38.1 million verdict against Hyundai Motor Company, for a defectively designed seat back and head restraint system in his client’s 2013 Hyundai Elantra (see news story). The verdict is the largest single-plaintiff compensatory award in Wisconsin history. The verdict included $7.77 million for the plaintiff’s spouse, another record for Wisconsin verdicts. Based on the significance of his 2020 verdict, Tim was honored to receive the Robert L. Habush, Trial Lawyer of the Year Award, the second time being recognized with said award. He was also awarded The Litigation Counsel of America’s Tommy Malone Outstanding Verdict Award, an honor bestowed upon one attorney in the US whose verdict is extraordinary in amount or significance. Although he was born, raised, and works in southeastern Wisconsin, Tim has earned a national reputation as a successful plaintiff’s trial lawyer. Tim’s successes have been so noteworthy that they have been chronicled in papers such as the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, the Fort Worth Star Telegram, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle and dozens of other publications.

View Timothy’s Full Bio