A diving computer is an electronic device which assists divers with readings including:

  • Depth;
  • Pressure;
  • Oxygen tank capacity; and
  • Other vital information.

In the past, electronic computers and gear were often bulky and were, in some cases, stored on a boat. Current, modern diving computers are much more compact and, in many cases, can be worn on an individual’s wrist just like a watch.

These devices, however, can still be prone to malfunctions. This is especially the case when the water pressure is very high or in cases where visibility may be an issue.

Therefore, accidents related to diving computers may pose a great risk of injury to amateur and professional divers alike. For example, a malfunction may compromise a diver’s ability to calculate their remaining oxygen levels as well as other important readings. Accidents and injuries may include:

  • Decompression sickness;
  • Lung damage;
  • Brain damage;
  • Drowning; and
  • Death.

Who can be Held Liable for a Diving Computer-Related Accident?

In many cases, a diving computer malfunction can be the result of a defective product. This may result from a manufacturing defect, where there was something wrong with the construction of the equipment or from a design defect, where there was an issue with the product’s design.

In addition, a defect may be related to inadequate warning information or labels. In these cases, liability for a diving computer which causes injury or death may be attributed to the producer or manufacturer of the product. This may cause the product to be recalled both from production and the retail market.

Are There any Legal Remedies for a Diving Computer Accident Claim?

A diving related accident can be very serious and can lead to legal action. In these types of lawsuits, the injured party may be provided a monetary damages award.

A damages award may be used to compensate the injured party for expenses such as:

  • Hospital bills;
  • Medical expenses;
  • Lost wages; and
  • Other losses.

In cases that involve wrongful death, the survivor or survivors of the plaintiff may also receive compensation for costs that are associated with the loss of companionship, funeral costs, and other related expenses. A defective product lawsuit may also, in some cases, be filed as a class action lawsuit, especially if numerous individuals have been injured or affected in the same way by the same product.

What is Product Liability?

Product liability provides a legal basis for individuals who are injured by products that are defective to file a lawsuit and possibly recover damages for their injuries or losses. Product liability laws provide rules which establish which parties are responsible for injuries when a plaintiff has a valid product liability claim.

Generally, a manufacturer as well as sellers further down the distribution chain, which includes retailers, distributors, and wholesalers, may be held liable for a defective product that causes injury to a consumer or consumers.

There are two main types of product liability claims under product liability laws, including:

  • Claims which are based on a defective design; and
  • Claims which are based on defective manufacturing.

What are the Elements to Prove a Products Liability Claim?

In order to prevail in a products liability lawsuit, a consumer must show, or prove, several elements, including:

  • That the product was sold to an individual in the marketplace;
  • That the manufacturer or seller was under an obligation to manufacture or sell the product in such a way as to meet the ordinary expectations of a consumer;
  • That the product has a manufacturing defect or a design defect;
  • That the defect in the product caused it to be unreasonably dangerous;
  • That it is foreseeable, or predictable, that consumers could have been injured by the defect; and
  • The injury caused a consumer or consumers to suffer injuries or damages.

What are Design Defects?

Design defects are defects in the manner in which products are made. These defects in design render the products inherently unsafe.

These types of defects exist when the products were in the planning process and prior to the products being manufactured. Some examples of design defects can include car seats which do not properly restrain children due to a design flaw or dressers which fall over too easily posing a danger to individuals using them.

What are Manufacturing Defects?

Manufacturing defects are defects which result from the manner in which products are assembled or put together. With manufacturing defects, prior to and up to the point of assembly, there are not any flaws with the products.

However, during or after the assembly, the products become defective, either because of a mistake or incorrect assembly, which renders the products unsafe.

How do I File a Lawsuit Based on Product Liability?

There are two main theories of recovery for injuries that are caused by a defective product. Theories of recovery are concepts which provide an individual a basis for filing their lawsuit. The two main theories of recovery include:

  • The negligence theory of recovery; and
  • The strict liability theory of recovery.

What is the Negligence Theory of Recovery?

The negligence theory of recovery in products liability requires that a defendant manufacturer, distributor, or seller owes the consumer a duty to make, distribute, and sell products which are free from defects. If a consumer is injured, the consumer must show that the defendant breached their duty and, as a result of the breach, the plaintiff sustained an injury that is able to be remedied, or made better, by a damages award.

Damages are compensation for losses or injuries which can be measured in terms of dollars, and may include:

  • Medical expenses, such as doctor’s visits;
  • Hospital expenses;
  • The cost of physical therapy, if necessary; and
  • Other expenses related to the injury.

What is the Strict Liability Theory of Recovery?

The strict liability theory or recovery permits recovery in some types of cases. It would be overly burdensome or even impossible to require comsumers to prove precisely how a product manufacturer was negligent in their product design.

Because of this, in some cases, the law permits a plaintiff to file a lawsuit under the theory of strict liability. A plaintiff is not required to show negligence under this theory.

Pursuant to the strict liability theory, it does not matter how carefully products are made, the defendant may still be held liable if consumers suffer injuries. A plaintiff must show several elements to prevail against a manufacturer under the theory of strict liability, including:

  • That the manufacturer sold the product or products;
  • That the consumer used the product or products in a foreseeable, or intended, manner;
  • That the product or products were not substantially changed from the condition in which they were first sold; and
  • A defect in the product caused an injury or injuries to the plaintiff, which resulted in damages.

To prevail against a non-manufacturer, which may include a seller or renter, a plaintiff is required to show that the seller acted negligently by permitting the product or products to be sold in its defective condition. A plaintiff can prevail simply by showing that the plaintiff purchased the product or products and their use caused the plaintiff injury due to a defect.

There are some limitations, however, regarding which party or parties that a plaintiff is permitted to sue under the theory of strict liability. A plaintiff can only recover damages against sellers and renters who regularly sell the type of product or products that caused the injury or injuries.

For example, a plaintiff may sue a seller which operates a car sales lot. However, they will face more challenges if they are attempting to sue a seller that is selling only their personal vehicle and they do not do so on a regular basis.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Assistance with a Defective Diving Computer Lawsuit?

It is important to have the assistance of a defective products attorney if you or someone you know has an issue with a defective diving computer. Your attorney can review your situation, determine if you have a claim for a defective product, and represent you during any court appearances.

Defective products cases can often be difficult and complex, so your best chance at recovering damages is to have an attorney’s help. It is important to remember that most companies and manufacturers have attorneys on staff to defend lawsuits or any other issues that arise with the business.