What Is Product Liability?
We rely on products for every aspect of our lives, whether it’s driving to the store, painting a wall, or trying to protect ourselves from loud noises. When everything works right, our lives continue seamlessly. When it doesn’t, the consequences can vary from an inconvenience to serious physical harm.
Product liability is the area of the law that handles the situations in which consumer products fail. When a consumer is injured at no fault of their own, the responsibility falls on the company that designed, manufactured, and sold the product. While every product has risks, it is up to the companies that built them to reduce those risks and make consumers aware of them.
What Are Consumer Products?
Generally, consumer products describe any item that is used by a person in their daily life. That could mean cars, prescription drugs, medical devices, pressure cookers, tires…or just about anything that is manufactured and sold.
What Are The Different Types Of Defective Product Liability Claims?
When things go wrong, it can be easy to wonder what happened. In a legal sense, there are three areas where companies can be held accountable: in design, in manufacturing, and in marketing.
Products that are defective in the design stage are products in which the manufacturers knew of a problem in the design but made the product anyway. This could be an avoidable defect, such as neglecting to add proper safety features.
Manufacturing liabilities occur when there are errors in the manufacturing process. These errors can be the use of substandard materials or improper processing. Manufacturing liabilities sometimes involve a calculation between the cost to recall and/or remake the product and the cost to settle cases with injured consumers; in these instances, corporations are deciding the economic value of their consumers’ lives and livelihoods.
When a product is under fire for a marketing defect, it means that the corporation failed to properly warn its consumers of the dangers related to the product. If you’ve ever wondered why ads for pharmaceuticals often end with a voice quickly listing side effects, often including conditions more serious than what the drug is supposed to handle, marketing defect cases are the reason.
What Is A Product Liability “Mass Tort”?
A “tort” is a lawyerly way of saying “wrongful act.” A “mass tort” generally means that there are many similar wrongs by the same manufacturer or corporation. Most of the “mass tort” cases are product liability cases. The cases are usually organized into one federal court for most of the litigation but each case is independent of the others. This is different from class action suits, where all the victims file a single suit.
I Think I May Have A Case…What Should I Do?
Complete our online form, give us a call, or send a text, and we will set up a time to talk with you. There won’t be any charge for this meeting. The most important thing you can do, though, is to keep all of the evidence. That means keeping the product that caused the injury and anything else that might have been involved. It also means searching for proof that you paid for the product.
How Can Our Products Liability Lawyers Help?
When someone is injured or killed because of a product, and the injured person or immediate relative comes to us, we start by investigating the product. We try to figure out whether the injury was caused by the product being poorly designed, whether the product was manufactured with a defect, or whether the instructions were not good enough to warn of dangers involved with using the product.
We often hire an expert engineer to look into all of these issues. As part of the many cases we have handled, we have examined bicycles, cars, pressure cookers, ladders, tires, and exploding lithium ion battery devices. Stephen Skinner has spent his entire career involved in products liability cases, and regularly investigates–without any cost to the potential client–products cases to determine whether a case can be made or not.
The Cases Skinner Accident and Injury Lawyers Are Currently Involved In
Right now, we are litigating cases involving hernia mesh, PFAS, 3M combat earplugs, Valsartan, Truvada and opioids. We are regularly examining individual cases and updating our knowledge about new medical devices and drug cases.
If you think you might have a case, contact us for a free review. Stephen Skinner is a member of the AAJ Products Liability section as well as a member of the AAJ Opioid Litigation Group, the AAJ E-Cigarette Litigation Group and the AAJ 3M Combat Earplugs Litigation Group.