Defective or Dangerous Products - Product Liability Claims
If you have been injured by a consumer product, you may have a product liability claim. To pursue a product liability claim, the defective condition must have caused your injury; in other words, if the defective condition did not exist, the injury would not have occurred. A product is defective, or unreasonably dangerous, when it poses a danger for causing physical harm in excess of what would be expected by the ordinary user. A defective product may be one which you purchased for your personal use, one that was supplied to you by someone else or one that you use at work.
Typically a dangerous product is manufactured as intended but has an inherent flaw in the design. The 1961 Corvair car, made famous by Ralph Nader’s book “Unsafe at Any Speed, is the classic example. Often industry standards and regulations are ignored in the design phase and result in a dangerous product. A defective product results from faulty manufacturing which produces a below-quality product. Sub-quality materials may be used, or tolerances ignored by quality control.
Who is held responsible for my product liability claim?
Defendants in the case may include a manufacturer of component parts and an assembling manufacturer. Although a manufacturer is not obligated to produce a product that is ‘accident-proof,’ the manufacturer is required to make a product that is free from defective and unreasonably dangerous conditions. In addition to claims for defective manufacture and defective design, a consumer may also make a claim for failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions concerning the proper use of the product.
Read more about common product liability claims:
What to do first for a product liability lawsuit?
If you are injured by a consumer product, it is important that the product be preserved and not altered in any way. It is also important to preserve any proof of purchase and the documents which accompanied the product, particularly the instruction booklets or warranties. If there were any witnesses to the accident involving the defective product, their contact information should be saved. It is also important to note from whom and where the product was purchased.
Multi-District Litigation Product Liability Claims
Since the 1970’s, consolidated lawsuits against the manufacturers of certain products have been pursued by injured consumers. Those injured by dangerous drugs, defective medical devices or food poisoning have collectively filed this type of multiparty litigation. In many states, one judge is appointed to handle all cases involving claims against such a manufacturer.