When we buy or use products, we have a reasonable expectation that they will work as promised – and that they won’t hurt us, or our families. Unfortunately, sometimes products don’t live up to our expectations. The courthouses are filled with people who have been injured because manufacturers are careless, negligent, or put profits ahead of safety.
What is Product Liability?
Manufacturers are supposed to be cautious about putting defective products into consumers’ hands. If a product has a defect that causes injury, federal laws may allow you to hold the product’s manufacturer liable.
In some cases, you can hold entities along the supply chain liable, as well.
Types of Product Liability Claims
Generally, product liability claims fall into one of three categories: design defects, manufacturing defects and marketing defects.
Some of the most common dangerous and defective products include:
- Baby products such as cribs, infant carriers, car seats, sleep positioners, strollers and collapsible play yards
- Children’s clothing, such as drawstring shirts and flammable clothing
- Children’s toys, such as action figures, dolls and building sets
- Dangerous drugs
- Medical devices
- Space heaters
- Swimming pools and spas
- Vehicles, including cars, motorcycles and ATVs
Defectively Designed Products
Some products are improperly designed. For example, a vehicle model that’s prone to flipping, a particular type of toy that’s prone to releasing small parts that can choke kids, or any other dangerous line of products can have design defects – and although they’re manufactured according to precise specifications, it’s the design with the defect.
Defectively Manufactured Products
Defectively manufactured products are some of the most clear-cut product liability claims. These don’t always affect an entire line of products like defectively designed products do; rather, they usually affect a batch of products or just one product.
For example, a tainted batch of pain reliever, a vehicle with a damaged brake line, or a piece of playground equipment that was improperly assembled in a factory could all be defectively manufactured products.
Failure to Warn
When manufacturers fail to provide adequate warnings or instructions to consumers, they can be held liable in a product liability claim.
However, these types of claims usually involve products that require warnings because their dangers aren’t readily obvious. They also involve products that require users to follow certain procedures or to exercise special precautions during views. For example, a medication that doesn’t contain a warning about dangerous drug interactions, a chemical that doesn’t include instructions for safe handling and proper storage, or any other product that requires special warnings or cautions could result in a failure to warn product liability case.
Medical Devices and Product Liability
Medical devices, like all other products, are supposed to work the way they are advertised to work. Medical device manufacturers can also be held liable if their products injure or harm people in some way.
Dangerous Drugs and Product Liability
We frequently see dangerous drug recalls because batches become tainted with poisonous substances or you drug interactions are discovered. However, if people are injured while using those drugs, the drug manufacturer may be facing a product liability claim.
Could You Have a Product Liability Claim?
If you are injured by a product, a medical device or dangerous drug, you could have the right to file a product liability claim. It may be a good idea to speak with an attorney to find out.
Talk to a Product Liability Lawyer in California
When you or someone you care about is hurt by a product, drug or medical device, the most important thing you should focus on is recovery. You shouldn’t have to worry about how you’ll pay your medical bills, what you’ll do about missing so much work, and other things that you didn’t have to worry about prior to the accident.
You could be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries.