Product Liability Attorney
According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 46,200 deaths and 40 million injuries each year are related to consumer product recalls. Additionally, on average, about 4,500 drugs and devices are pulled from U.S. shelves each year, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of a design defect, manufacturing defect, or marketing defect, you deserve a team of skilled product liability attorneys that can explain all your rights to compensation.
The top-rated product liability attorneys at The G Law Group have the expertise and financial backing needed to prosecute your product liability case to its just conclusion. Call (305) 486-7468 and speak with one of our product liability attorneys today.
What is Product Liability?
The term “product liability” generally refers to personal injury lawsuits by consumers against manufacturers of harmful products, drugs, and devices. A “product” can be almost any type of manufactured object or device, but product liability lawsuits usually involve chemicals and commercial materials (e.g., Monsanto and Johnson & Johnson), pharmaceuticals (e.g. Accutane, Xarelto, and Abilify) or motor vehicles (Kia Motors America and Ford Motors).
These claims can also extend to distributors, suppliers, and marketers of products that cause injury or death. Our product liability attorneys see every day how devastating the harm can be when products are made or designed unsafely. To recover damages in a product liability lawsuit, you need to show that the product was defective and that the defect proximately caused you harm. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, the first step is finding out what type of product liability claim you have and how best to pursue it.
What Makes a Product Dangerous or Defective?
There are typically three forms of product defect cases: manufacturing defects, design defects, and marketing defects.
Manufacturing defects occur during the manufacturing process. These defects can affect an entire line of products or just one product.
An example is the engine defects contained in Kia and Hyundai vehicles. The engines in these vehicles contained a manufacturing defect that would cause them to burst into flames, even when the key was no longer in the ignition. Our product liability attorneys represented several plaintiffs whose vehicles sustained these types of engine fires. We were able to secure a substantial confidential settlement for these fire victims.
Design defects refer to inherent, dangerous flaws in the product’s design.
Takata airbags are an example of defective design. These airbags could deploy without there even being a collision, and expel shrapnel towards the driver or passenger.
Marketing Defects (Failure to Warn)
Marketing defects can happen when the manufacturer or another party does not give adequate warning or instruction. This is also called a failure to warn.
Product manufacturers have a duty to provide sufficient instruction and warning labels to warn consumers of known dangers and dangers they have reason to believe exist. The cases against Big Tobacco are a prime example of the failure to warn consumers of the dangers associated with smoking cigarettes. Tobacco companies knew their products were addictive and caused lung cancer but did nothing to warn consumers of those risks. Recent examples include settlements against Juul for deceptive marketing practices.
What are the Different Types of Product Liability Cases?
Generally, there are three types of product liability cases.
The claimant must show that carelessness in the design or manufacture of the product led to his or her injuries. The injured party first must demonstrate that the defendant had a duty to sell a safe product. The consumer then must show that the defendant breached this duty by failing to use reasonable care. The plaintiff must also prove that the defective product caused their injuries.
There are many facets of product development in which negligence can occur. For example:
Failing to reasonably maintain machines responsible for fabricating product components
Failing to foresee plausible uses for the product
Failing to inspect or test the product sufficiently
Releasing the product to the mainstream without adequate testing
Incorrectly drawing up product plans
Products liability cases can also be pursued under the theory of strict liability. With these claims, the injured party is only required to prove that a defect in a product exists and that an injury was sustained as a result. If a defect exists, the manufacturer may be strictly liable for any resulting damages, regardless of whether they exercised extreme caution and care when manufacturing the product. For strict liability to apply, the product must usually have been purchased in the chain of distribution. Products purchased second-hand are typically not eligible for strict liability claims. However, this can vary depending on state/federal law. Contact an experienced product liability attorney to find out what laws apply in your jurisdiction.
Breach of Warranty
When a good is sold, there are two warranties the buyer relies on: the express warranty and the implied warranty.
Express Warranty: Any written representation about the product and its safety made by the manufacturer or retailer.
Implied Warranty: An implied promise by the manufacturer (or other liable party) that the product, if used as intended, will not cause any harm.
What Do I Have to Prove When I File a Product Liability Lawsuit?
When you’re injured because of a defective product, you have the option of filing a lawsuit against the company behind that product. As explained above, your lawsuit can either be based on negligence, strict liability, or warranty. In a negligence lawsuit, you’ll have to prove that the company owed you a duty of care, breached that duty, and caused you harm. It can be difficult to recover compensation if you can’t identify or prove how the company was negligent. On the other hand, you don’t have to prove that a company was negligent when you file a strict liability lawsuit. Instead, you’ll only have to prove:
You suffered an injury;
Because of a design defect, manufacturing defect, or the company’s failure to warn;
The dangerous product was the proximate cause of your injury; and
You used the product as intended or in a reasonably foreseeable way.
Any harm that you suffer because of a defective product can be an injury. This includes physical and emotional injuries, as well as financial harm.
You must prove that the product you used was dangerous because of a defective design, manufacturing defect, or failure to warn.
The defective product must have proximately caused your injury. Proximate cause means that your use of the defective product is causally linked to your injury. In other words, you wouldn’t have suffered the injury, but for the product being defective.
Used as Intended
Products are intended to be used in very specific ways. Not using a product as its intended can be incredibly dangerous. You’ll have to prove that you were injured by the product when you were either (a) using it as intended or (b) using it in a way that was reasonably foreseeable.
What Parties Can Be Held Liable for Defective and Dangerous Products?
A product will make its way through many parties, from concept to the marketplace. Each party can affect the safety of a product before it gets to a consumer. Consequently, when an individual is hurt by a dangerous product, the manufacturer and other parties involved in the production chain can be held liable for the injuries or fatalities the product has caused.
These parties may include:
The designer – A faulty design can impact an entire product line, making it unsafe for innocent consumers.
The manufacturer – From production through marketing, a manufacturer is responsible for putting safe and defect-free products on the market.
The retailer – A retailer, when offering a product for sale on its shelves, implies the product’s safety. Customers entrust that a retailer would not offer a hazardous product for sale. A retailer may also be held liable when it does not remove a known faulty product from its shelves.
A wholesaler – As the middleman between a manufacturer and a retailer, a wholesaler that offers a product also implies the safety of that product.
Depending on the nature of the circumstances, when someone has been harmed by a dangerous product, they may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against these parties and others, holding them liable for their damages.
What is the Statue of Limitations for a Product Liability Case?
As with all legal claims, there is a legal time limit for filing your product liability claim.
If you fail to meet this deadline, you could lose your right to pursue compensation. But, how long you must make a claim will depend on the statute of limitations in the state where your product liability injuries occurred. Some states like Texas have 2-year statute of limitations, but others, like Tennessee, only have a 1-year statute of limitations. Therefore, it is extremely important to contact a product liability lawyer as soon as you are injured. Do not wait and lose your right to compensation.
What Is My Product Liability Case Worth?
There is no easy way to calculate the value of a product liability injury case.
Your case must be evaluated carefully based on unique factors such as:
The type of product and the defect
The severity and type of injuries
Whether you share fault for your injuries by failing to use reasonable care
Whether you have a strict product liability or negligence-based case
Whether your accident and the defect quality for a class action or mass tort
The long-term impact of your injury on your health, quality of life, and ability to work
If your case is successful, you are entitled to recover compensatory damages. These damages are designed to make you whole, and give you financial compensation for the losses you suffered. Some damages are easy to quantify. Others require expert testimony, particularly when it comes to future medical bills, disability, and long-term personal losses.
The following are common types of damages available in most product liability cases:
Disability or lost earning capacity
Hospital and other medical bills
Future medical expenses
Household services, childcare, in-home health care, and therapy
Pain and suffering
Our product liability attorneys at The G Law Group believes consumers should be protected from dangerous products, and anyone who puts defective products in consumers’ hands should be held responsible for their actions. It is not uncommon for product liability cases to be worth six or seven figures. We will begin building the strongest possible case for your product liability injuries and will not stop fighting until we get justice for you. Call our top-rated product liability attorneys today at (305) 486-7468 or click the link below to schedule free a consultation.