Product liability lawsuits generally involve injuries or losses that are caused by a consumer product. In most cases, this is due to a defect with the product that causes injury to a consumer. Products liability claims can sometimes involve many people in a class action suit, especially if one particular product was distributed to many people.
Remedies in a product liability lawsuit typically involve a monetary damages award to reimburse the victim(s). This can cover costs associated with medical bills and other losses. In some cases, the court may order the company responsible for the product to either pull their product from the market, or supply replacements to affected purchasers.
What Are Some Common Types of Product Liability Lawsuits?
Products liability lawsuits can be divided into three main categories:
- Design defects: This is where the design of the product is inherently unsafe. An example of this is an eating utensil that contains very toxic materials
- Manufacturing defect: This is where the process of making the product renders it unsafe (even if the design was initially okay). An example of this is where an assembly factory omits certain screws in a machine, making it dangerous to use
- Warning or labeling defects: This is where the product did not come with sufficient warning labels or instructions. For instance, electrical products should come with a warning regarding the dangers associated with the use of electricity
Thus, many different parties can be held liable for product liability. For instance, the designer of a product may be held responsible for poor product design. Or, some companies may have their product manufactured through a different company; if this company commits manufacturing errors, they might be held responsible for a defective product. Retailers who remove warning labels can also be subject to a product liability lawsuit.
Are There Any Defenses to Product Liability Claims?
Some manufacturers or distributors may raise various defenses to product liability claims. For instance, it could serve as a defense if the victim was actually negligent and caused their own injuries. An example of this is where the plaintiff didn’t use the product as it was intended to be used. Another defense is where the victim knew about the risks of defects, but continued to use the product anyway (for instance, if there was visible breakage or wear on the product).
If the plaintiff was negligent, some jurisdictions may prevent a person from recovering damages, or they may reduce their damages award
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With a Product Liability Lawsuit?
Product liability lawsuits can sometimes be complex, especially if the case is a class action suit. You may wish to hire a qualified personal injury lawyer if you need assistance with products liability issues. Your attorney will be able to provide you with legal advice and representation throughout the entire process. Also, your lawyer can advise you if certain defenses may be in play during the case.