For product liability to occur, the product must have been sold in the marketplace. Historically, to recover damages, a contractual relationship had to exist between the injured person and the supplier of the product. Today, most states no longer require the injured person to be the buyer of the product. Anyone who foreseeably could have been hurt by the product can recover for their injuries as long as the product was sold to someone.
Liability can rest with anyone in the product’s chain of distribution including wholesalers, manufacturers, retail sellers or those who put together or install the product. For strict liability to apply, the sale of the defective product must be done in the regular course of the supplier’s business.