Product Liability Cases

Dangerous & Defective Products on the Market

Product liability law is that aspect of law that governs the legal liability of manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors for any damaged caused by dangerous or defective products. Product liability law is intended to protect the consumers while holding the manufacturers, distributors and retailers responsible for releasing unsafe products on the consumer market, especially for products that they should have known were dangerous or defective.

Product liability law covers the vast majority of retail items, and this often involves defective children's toys, dangerous cribs and strollers, defective tools, and dangerous drugs that cause serious adverse side effects. While product liability law involves these above products, it generally covers anything that can be sold to the consumer, including motor vehicles. The three major causes of product liability claims typically involve one of the following:

  • Design Defect
  • Manufacturing Defect
  • Failure to Warn (also known as a marketing defect)

A design defect occurs when there has been an error of flaw in the general design of the product. The manufacturer may have manufactured the product perfectly fine; however, the flaw that led to the dangerous condition or defect can be traced back to the design itself.

A manufacturing defect occurs when there has been an error or problem with the manufacturing process, as opposed to the design. Perhaps some screws were not included or they were screwed in improperly, or the paint used on the product contained toxic lead.

Failure to warn or marketing defects occur when there have been inadequate warnings on the label or instructions, which prevent the user from using the product safely.

Pursuing a Product Liability Claim

Under product liability law, the legal liability can fall upon the manufacturer, the distributor, the suppliers, or the retailer depending upon the circumstances of the case. Every year, numerous products are recalled due to product defects, and unfortunately these recalls generally occur after one or more people have been injured by the dangerous product.

In most cases manufacturing defects occur because manufacturers use poor quality materials, or because of poor workmanship. With a design defect, the design itself was inherently flawed and a problem would have occurred no matter how well the product was manufactured. With failure to warn cases, the product contained inherent dangers that were not obvious to the average consumer, and had there been appropriate warnings, accidents and injuries could have been prevented.

In a basic negligence claim, the plaintiff will need to prove: 1) there was a duty owed, 2) that duty was breached, 3) the breach was the cause of the plaintiff's injuries, and 4) the plaintiff suffered actual damages (medical expenses, time lost from work etc.).

Strict Liability Claims

As compared to a negligence claim, a strict liability claim focuses on the product itself. Under strict liability, the manufacturer is held liable if the product is defective, even if the manufacturer wasn't negligent in any way.

Manufacturers are responsible for releasing safe products on the consumer market. When a manufacturer fails in this duty and someone is injured as a result, they can be held legally and financially responsible for any damages the dangerous product caused for the consumer. However, since these manufacturers are frequently multi-billion dollar, for-profit companies with expensive lawyers working for them, it's important that you hire a qualified attorney to represent you against these large corporations.

At Jones & Swanson, we have over 40 years of collective experience assisting people with their product liability claims. Our firm has been recognized by some of the most prestigious institutions for being top rated and these include being AV® rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, which is the highest rating attainable, and a 10 out of 10 Avvo rating, and the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the American Trial Lawyers Association. These are only a few of the recognitions we have received for professional competence, and legal ability.

We continuously work to maintain excellent communication with our clients and to help them obtain large dollar settlements to cover their losses. If you have been injured by a dangerous or defective product, please don't hesitate to contact an attorney from our firm to schedule a consultation to discuss filing a claim for compensation.