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Ordinarily, the focus in a product liability case is on the defendant-manufacturer’s duty to design and manufacture a safe and useful product and to warn adequately of any risks associated with its use. But an interesting and unexpected battleground can arise from a tag-a-along consumer protection claim. Here is the scenario: Plaintiff, in an individual action, sues defendant-manufacturer for injuries allegedly sustained in connection with the use of defendant’s product. Plaintiff sues under traditional product liability theories as well as under the state’s consumer protection statute, which proscribes deceptive and misleading trade practices. In particular, plaintiff alleges a consumer fraud has occurred because she has been injured by a product that, she claims, had been sold in connection with deceptive sales practices; in this case, certain allegedly false or misleading advertisements.

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