Every year, thousands of consumers are injured as a result of defective products.
As the availability of consumer goods and new medications and treatments becomes available, the risk of potential problems with these products increases. Many of these injuries could be avoided if additional safety measures were taken by the manufacturers or distributors. Oftentimes, safety improvements are only implemented after the companies are faced with numerous product liability lawsuits.
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, roughly 29.5 million injuries and 22,000 deaths are connected to defective products. The injuries, deaths, and associated property damage from defective products cost over $500 billion each year.
Product Liability holds any or all parties involved in the manufacturing of a product accountable for injuries or damage caused by the product.
This includes the product part manufacturers, production manufacturer, wholesaler, and in some cases, the retail storeowner. Product Liability includes numerous legal claims allowing an injured party to seek financial compensation from the manufacturing company or retailer of the defective product. Most commonly, the claims associated with Product Liability are negligence, strict liability, breach of warranty, and various consumer protection claims. Each type requires different elements to be proven in order for the claim to be successful.
Types of Product Liability Claims
- Defective product manufacturing
- Defective product design
- Failure/negligence to warn of product defect
Design defects may exist prior to the product being manufactured. The product may serve its purpose well, but it can be unreasonably dangerous to use due to a design defect. On the other hand, a manufacturing defect occurring during the construction or production phase only causes a few of many identical items to be flawed. Defects in marketing deal with improper instructions and failure to warn consumers of latent dangers in the product. One example would be labeling the wrong dosage on a medicine bottle's instruction label. In this case, the drug company has a duty to warn the medical community and the public. If you have been injured by a defective product, contact our office at (404) 761-1212 or (770) 964-2847 to consult with a product liability lawyer immediately.
Liability for a Defective Product
Product liability laws were designed to protect consumers from dangerous products, while holding the responsible party accountable for releasing an item that they knew or should have known posed a risk to the public. The jurisdiction in which the product liability case is filed will determine the liability of the involved parties as the defective product passes from the manufacturer to the consumer.
Depending on the specifics of the case, an injured consumer can seek compensation from one or more liable parties. In most product liability lawsuits, the plaintiff names the defective product's manufacturer, retailer, distributor or wholesaler as the defendant. It's important to remember that naming a defendant in a product liability case is not a matter of choosing one liable party over another. Any party involved in a defective product's chain of distribution may be held accountable through a product liability lawsuit.
Product Liability Lawsuits
Consumers who were injured due to an unsafe or defective product may be entitled to recover compensation through a product liability lawsuit. When a defective product causes injury, the manufacturer, designer, retailer or distributor may be held accountable. Because defective product lawsuits typically involve complex legal issues, such as strict liability and breach of warranty, it's important to speak with a product liability attorney who can help move your claim forward and ensure your rights are protected.
In a successful product liability case, the plaintiff may recover a number of monetary damages, which intend to make the victim "whole" again. Product liability damages may include compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and loss of marital benefits. Punitive damages may also be awarded if the defendant's actions were particularly malicious or outrageous.
Examples of Defective Products
The most serious product liability lawsuits filed in the past several years have involved lawsuits against the makers of cars, pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices. However, defective products can develop in any market and result in injuries ranging from minor burns to brain injuries.
Examples of defective products that may warrant a product liability lawsuit include:
- Dangerous prescription drugs
- Defective medical devices, including pacemakers and defibrillators
- Defective auto parts, including faulty brakes, air bags, seatbelts or tires
The product liability attorneys we associate offer a free case review to any consumer injured by a dangerous product or drug, so feel free to contact our office today at (404) 761-1212 or (770) 964-2847 if you think you have a case.