In Alabama if you are injured by a defective product there are 3 primary ways to recover damages.  First is to make a strict liability claim under the Alabama Extended Manufacturer Liability Doctrine or AEMLD.  Under the AEMLD the Plaintiff must prove that she suffered injury or damages to herself or her property by one who sold a product in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous to the Plaintiff as the ultimate user or consumer.  Atkins v. America Motors Corp., 335 So.2d 134, 141 (Ala. 1976).  Under the AEMLD Plaintiff can sue everyone in the chain of distribution from the manufacturer to the retail seller.  Although there are various defenses to the AEMLD, because it is a strict liability doctrine once the Plaintiff proves the unreasonably dangerous and defective condition of the product caused her injuries then the Defendants can be liable unless one of the specific defenses applies.

When the Courts adopted the AEMLD they did not do away with the common law claims for negligent manufacturing or design of products that cause injuries or damages.  Those causes of action are still available to the Plaintiff and follow the standard negligence formula of proving duty, breach, proximate cause and damages.

Finally the third most common claim for injuries or damages resulting from use of a
defective product is breach of warranty claims.  The most often used claim is breach of the implied warranty of merchantability.  That requires the Plaintiff to prove that the goods were unmerchantable or unfit for the ordinary purpose.  Code of Alabama, 1975 ‘ 7-2-314.  Both the AEMLD and the negligence were wantonness causes of action applied to failure to warn claims as well in failure to warn causes of action the defense of open and obvious danger or notice or knowledge on part of Plaintiff are affirmative defenses to Plaintiff’s claims.

AEMLD and common law negligence and wantonness cases apply to instances where the claim is that the manufacturer or seller failed to warn the consumer of known dangers.  In those instances, the defenses of “open and obvious danger” and notice or knowledge on the part of the consumer apply.