Products liability is the area of law that pertains to the manufacturing and selling of defective products that cause injuries. If you were injured because of a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation. A product is required to meet the public’s expectations for ordinary use of that product.
Some products liability cases give rise to class action or mass torts lawsuits. Vehicles and their parts, pharmaceutical drugs, medical equipment and electronics are common domains of class action and mass torts lawsuits.
For a products liability lawyer, there are generally certain elements that need to be present in products liability claims. A plaintiff needs to prove that:
- There was an injury
- The product was used as intended
- That product was defective and caused the injury
The liable parties in products liability claims may be one or all of the following:
- Manufacturers – the manufacturer of the defective product
- Distributers – the distributor of the defective product
- Wholesalers – if no inspection or quality control was done to ensure the safety of a product
- Retailers – if a product was sold in a dangerous condition
Failure to warn
If the marketing or packaging of a product fails to warn of the dangers or hazards of such a product, the manufacturer may be liable for damages. The warning labels must also be placed in conspicuous places that clearly communicates the dangers. The labels and instructions must indicate all known dangers of a product, regardless if they are obvious or non-obvious.
Defects may occur during the manufacturing process. This can be poor quality and/or poor workmanship. Pharmaceutical drugs that have been poorly manufactured with poor ingredients or trace elements of chemicals that can cause poisoning fall under this category. Almost all factories and assembly plants have quality assurance protocols in place.
Six Sigma (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Sigma) developed by engineers at Motorola, is a widely used manufacturing method to reduce product variations. However, to eliminate all defects in products is practically impossible.
Design Defect is an inherently dangerous or unreasonable design. This can be a SUV rollover because of a tire, a defective gas tank or an ignition switch. The list of design defects goes on and on.
It’s imperative to hire a products liability lawyer to study the cause of the injury for a possible products liability claim and if necessary to sue to the manufacturer, distributor and/or sellers to determine through litigation who bears responsibility.
Consumer protection agencies
Here are the consumer agencies for California by city, county and region:
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection thwarts deceptive business practices and is the federal government watchdog for the pubic on consumer goods.
If the product is in violation of FTC regulations, the manufacturer can be liable. The FTC also deals with warranties.
If unforeseen liability occurs such as exploding batteries or faulty components that break in a product, a recall is issued. The manufacturer is responsible for replacing the faulty component, eliminating it from further production, and providing compensation for damages caused by the defective product.
Negligence and Strict Liability
Proving negligence in product liability cases relies on proving carelessness in the design, labeling or manufacturing of the defective product. A products liability lawyer must show that there was a duty to sell a safe product and that duty was breached by the defendant who knew or should have known of the defectiveness of the product.
Strict liability is a legal doctrine where a manufacturer, distributor or retailer, is liable for damages that their products caused without the need to prove negligence on the manufacturers part. This is most common in design defect, where the unreasonably dangerous design caused damages regardless of how it was manufactured.
The Dominguez Firm is a proven powerhouse injury law firm with unrivaled service and success record. The firm works on a NO RECOVERY, NO FEE, NO COSTS basis. This means that you do not pay unless you win. Our award-winning team of personal injury trial lawyers will fight for you! We may assist you at your home or hospital at a moment’s notice. If you or a loved has been seriously injured by a defective product, be it a medicine, vehicle, medical device, toy, clothing, household item, or other product, call us 24/7 for a FREE CONSULTATION: 800-818-1818