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Awards & Affiliations

  • American Association for Justice
    As members of the AAJ, we are committed to promoting a fair, effective justice system that allows for victims of misconduct or negligence to obtain the justice they deserve.
  • Rhode Island Association for Justice
    Members of the Rhode Island Association for Justice follow the organization’s mission: Working together to ensure equality.
  • Rhode Island Bar Association
    The Rhode Island Bar Association has been working to uphold and protect federal and state laws since 1898, with an emphasis on maintaining a democratic government and honoring the justice system.
  • DC Bar
    Membership with the DC Bar provides us with access to legal research materials, professional service providers, and more that can be used for the benefit of our clients.
  • Super Lawyers
    Only 2.5% of attorneys in a given state are selected for inclusion on the Rising Stars® list. Members must be aged 40 or younger, or be in practice for 10 years or less.
  • Distinguished Martindale Hubbell
    Distinguished® attorneys are peer-review rated and selected based on their honorable professional achievements.
  • Brain Injury Association
    Our work with the Brain Injury Association of Rhode Island is designed to provide information and services to survivors.
  • Brain Association of America
    As members of the Brain Injury Association of America, we are the voice of awareness, and we are here to help survivors.
  • Southern New England Brain Injury Law Center
    Southern New England Brain Injury Law Center
    This is a society of multidisciplinary brain injury professionals who come together to discuss issues concerning brain injury and bring the science behind brain injuries into practice.
  • Melvin M Belli
    Lawyers are initiated into the Melvin M. Belli society by invitation-only and are considered to be distinguished trial lawyers.

Proving Negligence in a Rhode Island Product Liability Case

Product Liability Lawyers Based in Providence & Middletown

In Rhode Island, there are four elements needed to prove liability in a product liability claim:

  • That the product was defective or dangerous
  • That the defective or dangerous product caused the injury
  • That the particular injury is causally related to the defective or dangerous product
  • That the manufacturer or seller owed a duty to make or sell a safe product

Theories of Recovery

  • Strict liability: This theory allows a person injured by a defective or dangerous product to recover compensation for the injuries without showing negligence.
  • Negligence: This is present when the manufacturer or seller of the product was negligent in the manufacturing of the product, causing it to be defective or dangerous, or the seller was negligent in selling such a product.
  • Breach of warranty: This is when the manufacturer or seller violates a contractual promise regarding the quality, character or suitability of the product. These warranties that give rise to product liability because of a breach can be either expressed or implied.
  • Express warranty: These are either written statements, advertisements or demonstrations that end up not to be true or deceptive.
  • Implied warranty: An implied warranty is not explicitly stated; it is based upon the reasonable expectations of the buyer, including the implied warranty of merchantability and the implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose.


Defects that give rise to product liability because of personal injuries include:

  • Design defect: This is a flaw in the design of the product that makes it unreasonably dangerous.
  • Manufacturing defect: Although the product may have been designed properly, the manufacturing of the product was defective causing the product to be dangerous.
  • Marketing defects: These include insufficient instructions, failure to warn of dangers, and poor or improper labeling of the product.

There are two types of time limitations on product liability cases. The first is the statute of limitations. In Rhode Island, there is a three-year statute of limitation regarding injuries caused by product liability. This means that the case must be resolved within three years of the injury or the matter must be placed into a lawsuit within three years of the injury that will stop the statute of limitation from running. This statute of limitation is enlarged by the "discovery rule" that states the statute of limitation begins to run when the injured party discovers or should have discovered the injury was caused by the product.

The second type of time limitation is notice requirement. When bringing a product liability claim for the breach of an implied warranty the buyer must, within a reasonable time after he or she discovers or should have discovered any breach, notify the seller of the breach. In Rhode Island, under certain circumstances, the filing of the lawsuit against the seller constitutes sufficient notice if filed within the three-year statute of limitation. The notice provision is inapplicable to third parties, especially if they are non-purchasers.

Market Share

Market share is liability against the manufacturer of a defective or dangerous product even though the manufacturer of the product cannot be identified. Market share liability consists of filing a lawsuit against any manufacturers that have manufactured a particular product. Rhode Island does not recognize product liability based upon market share and these cases cannot be brought in the state.

Experienced Rhode Island Product Liability Attorneys

Karns & Kerrison represents injured victims concerning product liability based on defective or dangerous products. It has been fighting on behalf of personal injury victims in Rhode Island for over 45 years.

To learn what our lawyers can do for you, contact the office locally at (888) 281-3100 or email the firm to set up a free initial appointment.

  • Car Accident Traumatic Brain Injury
    I would definitely recommend Karns & Kerrison to anyone who asked - they come through for you.

    - Patricia Feeley

  • Slipped on Greasy Floor
    I have no reservations whatsoever in recommending Karns & Kerrison.

    - Mike Carey

  • Rear End Collision
    Nothing but positive results from consultation, to filing the legal suit, handling of a major operation, to recovery and finalizing a generous settlement.

    - Larry Goldfarb

  • Horrible Car Accident
    They not only got me a fair settlement, they helped to get me well.

    - Nancy

  • Motor Vehicle Accident - Braga Bridge
    It was comforting to know I had someone watching out for me.

    - Jeanie Small

  • Pedestrian hit by Car
    I did not know where to turn when I realized I needed legal help but I am very happy that I found Karns & Kerrison.

    - Martin

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Schedule A Free Consultation

If you or your loved one suffered severe, life-altering injuries due to someone else’s negligence, we are here to help you fight for justice. For answers to your questions or to schedule a free consultation, contact our personal injury team at (888) 281-3100. We offer our legal services on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay attorneys’ fees after we have recovered compensation on your behalf.

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