Claims involving defective products are also called product liability claims. Manufacturers have a duty to make sure the products they sell to the public are safe. If a product has a design flaw or manufacturing flaw, it is a defective product. When that defect makes the product unsafe, manufacturers may be held liable for any resulting injuries.
Any product that is improperly made or manufactured can become the subject of a lawsuit. Defective product cases have involved:
- Automobiles and Auto Parts: Automobile defect cases have involved vehicle systems, tires, airbags, and even car paint. Cars and trucks are also common subjects of product recalls. The popular Ford Explorer was the subject of a series of defective product claims.
- Baxter Dialyzers: Baxter dialyzers are machines used for kidney dialysis. Unfortunately, the Baxter dialyzer released toxic chemicals into patients’ bloodstreams—resulting in serious injuries and death. It was recalled from the market.
- Breast Implants: Silicone breast implants sometimes rupture or leak, allowing silicone to enter the body—causing pain, tenderness, and other serious issues. The FDA no longer permits silicone breast implant use under most circumstances. Multiple class actions were filed against silicone breast implant manufacturers.
- Food Contamination: Food contamination can involve foreign material in food and harmful bacteria. Additionally, food manufacturers must comply with the Food and Drug Administration’s safety and labeling requirements. Violations of these requirements can lead to recalls and lawsuits.
- Heart Valve Replacement: Replacement heart valves can extend a patient’s life significantly. However, a St. Jude Medical replacement valve was found to cause infections and heart failure (due to a Silzone coating).
- Sulzer Hip Implant: Some Sulzer hip implants were improperly treated with a machining oil—resulting in loose hardware, pain, and significant health issues. The company settled a class action lawsuit for roughly $1 billion.
- Tobacco: Plaintiffs have filed multiple tobacco-related class actions, seeking damages for misleading advertising, fraud, defective products, secondhand smoke injuries, and other issues.
In a class action lawsuit, a representative plaintiff files on behalf of a much larger group of people. Class actions sometimes help reduce litigation costs and increase judicial efficiency. However, class action litigation is an incredibly complicated process. You must identify a class representative, certify your class action, and then prove all the elements of your defective products claim.
Defective product claims involve a complicated analysis of company records, technical studies, medical evidence, and legal precedent. And, certifying a class action is a process that requires extensive legal knowledge and experience. Without assistance from a defective products lawyer, you might make costly mistakes. Before you attempt to file a defective products class action on your own, always consult with a lawyer.