Product liability refers to the liability of any or all people involved in the manufacturing of a certain product that causes damage or injuries. This includes the manufactured components, who assembles it, the wholesaler, and the retail stores selling it. If the product develops certain defects, the product could possibly harm you or anyone else that uses it. Most products that can cause liability and generally tangible. But, over the year’s product liability can be intangible possessions as well. This can include gas, pets, real estate, or writings.
What Is a Product Liability Case?
A product liability case is a lawsuit that comes from a defective product that causes harm to a person. A person suing, who is suffering from a product liability issue, typically falls under specific issues which would be negligence, strict liability, or breach of warranty. Product liability law is a set of rules explaining who is responsible for defective products, which is different from injury law. Typically, product liability cases fall under mass tort law.
Types of Product Liability Cases
There are many types of product liability cases you see in courts. Claims could be based on negligence or strict liability. There are three main types of product liability claims. Those claims include:
- Defectively manufactured products
- Defectively designed products
- Failure to provide sufficient warning or instructions
Defectively Manufactured Products
Defectively manufactured products are what most people think of when they hear of a product liability case. This is where a product is defective and directly causes injury to a person. A manufactured product can have defects for many reasons. Manufacturers can make errors when producing the product. The error can then pose a threat to whoever is using it by causing harm or injuries. To clarify, these are examples of manufactured defects:
- Assembling the product together incorrectly
- Using wrong or outdated parts
- Any other types of errors when manufacturing the product
Defectively Designed Products
Next, is defectively designed products, which are products that had an error in the original design. With design defects, the party responsible is the party that created the product, not the manufacturer or the retailer. For it to be a design defect, you must have developed the injury directly caused by the flawed design of the product. For instance, these are examples of design defects:
- Product containing toxic ingredients
- Child products that are evidently dangerous to children
- Structurally unstable products
- Products meant to be used at high heat, then melting or becoming flammable
- Mechanical defects
Failure to Warn
Finally, there is a failure to provide warning or instructions for a specific product. This has to do with labels or instructions that are missing information or have printed wrong information. This means, the design is manufactured properly and works the way it is supposed to. But, the manufacturer creates liability by failing to warn customers about certain warnings that should be displayed on the product before use. For this type of case, you must prove the product put you in danger and how the manufacturer legally should have warned you and other customers about the potential danger but failed to do so. You must then show that your injuries resulted from the product and the manufactures failure to warn you. For example, here are some types of products that might fail to warn:
- Prescription drugs
- Legally, manufacturers must inform consumers of all potential side effects and possible illnesses of taking said drug
- A product may be prone to overheating if it is used for a constant amount of time. This could pose a threat and possibly be dangerous. If that is the case, the warning must be displayed on the packaging of the product
- Using a product for something other than what it was intended for
- The product must show and specify what the product is used for and what the product is not used for
Recalls & Warnings
In product liability cases, you will generally hear about recalls and warnings, including warning labels added to the product itself. A warning label is a label that is put onto a product, on its packaging, or in its manual that warns about the risks of using that product. If the company or manufacturer did not provide sufficient warnings on the warning labels displayed, it can potentially cause you harm. A product recall is when manufacturers send out an urgent request to buyers to return the product or bring it to be fixed. The recall will happen because a newfound problem or safety issue discovered that can possibly put you in danger. Product recalls may open the door for liability lawsuits associated with that product.
Examples of Product Liability Cases
There are many well-known product liability cases and many in the news. For example, here are some of the famous cases that have settled and companies currently involved in lawsuits:
- Phillip Morris: Tobacco Products
- General Motors: Automobile parts
- Dow Corning: Silicone Breast Implants
- Owens Corning: Asbestos
- Takata Airbag Recall
- McDonalds Coffee
How Do I Know If I Qualify for a Product Liability Case?
Any type of defect in a product can be dangerous and cause harm to whoever uses it. Furthermore, if you have developed an illness or suffered from an injury from using a specific product you will need a mass tort lawyer experienced in dealing with mass torts.
At Gacovino, Lake & Associates, our products liability lawyers have experience in handling a variety of injury and death cases involving defective products. We serve as tireless advocates for the injured and we want to help affected families seek and recover compensation for their injuries and losses.
Dangerous products can range from medications and medical devices to auto and trucking parts, and the injuries can range from mild to severe. No matter what the circumstances are in your case, you can turn to our experienced attorneys for qualified and committed representation. Contact us today for more information.
Who Is Liable for Product Liability Cases?
According to Cornell Law, a defendant is liable when the plaintiff proves that the product is defective, regardless of the defendant’s intent. Consequently, who is liable all depends on what type of defect you are experiencing. Between the three defects, each defect has different responsible parties that are liable. Liable parties usually include manufacturers, suppliers, creators, designers, wholesalers, ad retailers. If you are seeking compensation for your injuries resulted from using a product, your experienced attorney will be the one to find out who is specifically liable.