Products liability addresses the numerous defective and dangerous products that cause thousands of injuries every year. The laws and regulations that govern this area of law are different when compared to ordinary personal injury laws.
Parties that are found to be responsible for products liability claims can be held liable under specific legal theories, including:
- Strict liability; and
- Defective product liability.
One specific example of products and services law would be malpractice claims. Malpractice claims arise when a professional individual or organization makes an error in the services they render to a patient or client, resulting in the patient or client to suffer economic and/or non-economic damages. These claims are made against licensed professionals such as:
- Doctors and nurses;
- Hospitals, surgery centers, and medical groups;
- Dentists; and
The companies and organizations that these various professionals work for.
In some cases, a products liability claim may be associated with a service that is provided, such as:
Consumer protection laws were enacted to help prevent consumer fraud as well as unfair business practices. These laws provide rights for consumers and freedoms for manufacturers. They govern health and safety laws, warranties, and product contracts.
There are many different categories of defective products and services, all of which will be discussed below.
What Are Products Liability and Defective Products?
A products liability claim holds the manufacturer or seller of a product accountable for placing a defective product into the stream of commerce. Any party that is found to be responsible for any part of the manufacture of the product may be held liable for any resulting injuries, just as any seller may also be held liable.
In short, there are three types of defects:
- Design Defects: Defects in the design of the product. If the design is defective, then it is inherently flawed and could lead to potential liability;
- Manufacturing Defects: The product’s design might be completely safe, but when the manufacturer assembles the product, they do so in such a way that makes the product unsafe; and
- Defective Warnings: The warnings regarding the product are inadequate. These liability cases may also include failure to properly instruct a consumer in terms of how to use the product.
Some other subjects addressed by products liability and defective products law include:
- Automobile, which generally covers topics such as insurance claims and Lemon Laws;
- Faulty or defective products, such as fraud and warranties;
- Defective design products;
- Manufacturing defect products;
- Inadequate warning label defects; and
- Firearms and explosives liability.
What Is Food And Restaurant Services Liability?
Every state maintains its own food safety laws, which are intended to protect consumers from injuries such as food poisoning or food borne illness. Food safety laws govern the way that food manufacturers, distributors, and restaurants provide that food to their consumers. An example of this would be how food safety laws have determined that food that is contaminated, spoiled, or expired should never be served to customers.
Many local counties also regularly inspect restaurants and other food-selling businesses. These inspections are intended to ensure that these places are complying with food safety standards. Some localities use a letter rating system for restaurants, which indicates how well they are complying with food safety standards. This is meant to provide consumers with a quick and simple way of determining whether it is safe to eat at a specific venue.
Food safety violations can result in various injuries to a customer, including but not limited to:
- Food poisoning;
- Food allergy; and
Because of this, it is imperative that food safety laws are adhered to.
Other topics covered by food and restaurant services liability include:
- Food contamination claims;
- Food poisoning lawsuits;
- Harm caused by dirty restaurants; and
- Caterer liability for food poisoning.
What Is Medical Malpractice Liability?
As previously mentioned, medical malpractice can be considered an issue covered by products and services law. Medical malpractice is a specific type of personal injury claim. It occurs when a doctor, other medical professional, and/or healthcare organization fails to provide the standard duty of care required of them by professional liability laws. This deviation from the standard duty of care required of all medical professionals is generally associated with an act of negligence, which results in the injury of their patient.
Medical malpractice law enables an injured patient to bring a claim against a negligent medical professional. This allows them to recover damages for the harms caused by their substandard conduct. Whether a medical professional can be held liable for a patient’s injuries will depend on the facts of a specific case, as well as the various rules and requirements of medical malpractice laws determined by each particular state.
Some common examples of medical malpractice claims include:
- Improperly diagnosing or failing to diagnose a patient;
- Prescribing the wrong treatment or medication;
- Operating on the wrong body part;
- Failing to follow up after a patient receives a procedure;
- Prematurely discharging a patient before they have recovered sufficiently;
- Leaving behind medical equipment during a surgery;
- Withholding information or failing to receive informed consent before a patient underwent surgery; and/or
Inputting erroneous data into a patient’s medical chart, which causes harm to the patient.
Additional subjects associated with medical malpractice and how it relates to products and services law include:
- Failure to diagnose;
- Standard of care for medical malpractice;
- Medical malpractice liability;
- Informed consent for surgery; and
- Medical malpractice insurance.
What Are Attorney Services and Malpractice Liability?
Just as doctors may be held liable for malpractice, so can attorneys. When a client needs an attorney’s representation, the issue has generally become too complex to resolve themselves. In some cases, an attorney can worsen the situation instead of resolving it. When an individual hires an attorney to represent them, that attorney is obligated to provide competent and professional services in line with their professional duty.
If an attorney fails to do so, and their client suffers damages as a result, the attorney may be held liable for those damages. If an attorney made an especially serious error, their client may consider suing them for malpractice.
Attorney malpractice refers to when the attorney fails to use the same skill and care that would be used by other attorneys handling a similar case, problem, or circumstance. It is important to note that attorney malpractice does not occur every time an attorney loses a case.
A few common examples of attorney malpractice include, but may not be limited to:
- Blunders: When an attorney makes outrageous mistakes, such as missing court dates or deadlines, fails to properly submit documentation to the court, or otherwise behaves irresponsibly;
- Bad checks: When an attorney sends a check from their own account for damages that the client has won, and that check bounces;
- Settling Without Their Client’s Permission: When an attorney settles a case without their client’s permission; and/or
- Failing to Contact The Client: When the attorney has not returned a client’s phone calls or responded to their letters for a significant amount of time.
Another common example of attorney malpractice would be when an attorney simply quits working on a case. Because of this, the client’s case may be dismissed, or a default judgment may be entered against them.
Other subjects associated with attorney services and malpractice include:
- Breach of fiduciary duty;
- Breach of contract; and
- Getting a refund from an attorney.
Do I Need an Attorney for Issues Involving Products and Services Law?
Because product liability and malpractice claims can involve many different areas of the law, you should consult with an experienced and local defective product lawyer.
An attorney will be best suited to helping determine whether you have a claim under your state’s specific laws. Finally, an attorney will also be able to represent you in court, as needed.