Understanding Aspects of a Product Liability Claim

Every single year, there are tens of thousands of new products introduced into the marketplace. Of these tens of thousands of products, a specific percent of these are not safe for consumers to buy and use. There are a multitude of facets that contribute to a product’s quality and all of these factors must harmonize in order to protect the consumer’s safety. Often times, one miniscule thing has failed or malfunctioned, causing the entire product to be unsafe. Here at McMinn Law, we understand the many varieties of product liability and how to use consumer protection laws to give our clients the compensation they deserve for the injuries or death suffered at the hands of negligent companies.

While many products are recalled every year due to product defects or malfunctions, it is not this recall that saves lives or prevents injuries. Ironically, these recalls only highlight how consumers are often times the ‘lab rats’ for new products.

What is Product Liability?

Product liability can be defined as a contract that holds the manufacturer or seller of a product responsible for any injury or death resulting from the use of their product. Product liability extends to any person or entity that contributed to the selling of the defective product to its consumers.  Product liability can essentially apply to the entire supply chain of a defective or dangerous product. Product liability, similar to other personal injury cases, is required to meet the same standards of negligence. The lawyers at the McMinn Law Firm have the experience to aggressively represent our clients in all personal injury cases, including product liability. Holding companies to a higher standard than they hold themselves at, in regards to consumer safety, is a responsibility they take very seriously.

Product Deficiency

The three common areas where products are discovered to be deficient are in:

  1. Manufacturing Defect: In these cases, the fault is that of the manufacturer who did not build the product correctly. Under the definition of ‘strict liability’ there is no requirement for evidence that the manufacturer was negligent, but only that the product was defective in some way.

    1. Cars, for example, literally have thousands of parts that are engineered to work together, but if just one single part fails, the consequences are unrecoverable. There are a range of things that can fail when manufacturing a car such as seat belts that do not latch properly to tires that come apart. It’s these types of problems that usually trigger recalls so that the cars can be refitted with the modified items, but it is sadly after the consumers have found them to be defective.

  2. Design Defect: In these cases, it is the foundation of the product design/drawing that was defective. Defects involving design flaws may include things such as sharp corners or unprotected belts that can fly off when they are worn or thin.

    1. Bicycles, for example, have chain guards that are supposed to cover the chain to protect the rider. If the bike was not designed properly, then the rider could have a foot or garment pulled into the turning chain, causing an accident. While that scenario doesn’t seem too tragic, it could easily become devastating if an accident were to happen in the middle of oncoming traffic.

  3. Marketing Defect (failure to warn): In these cases, it is usually general warnings that have been omitted from the label, therefore failing to inform consumers of possible dangers to avoid.

    1. Many people are deathly allergic to peanuts and when they consume even a small amount, can end up in the emergency room. Had the food product been properly labeled and listed “peanuts” as an ingredient, the injury could’ve been prevented because the person would’ve avoided it.

What Kind of Products Can be Defective?

Essentially, any product can be defective, but the most popular ones are:

  • Pharmaceutical Drugs and Medical Implants/Devices.

  • Food: Meats, Dairy, Fruits, Vegetables, Processed Foods, Restaurants.

  • Automobiles, Motorcycles, and All types of Recreational and Sports vehicles.

  • Toys to Tools.

  • Household Appliances.

  • Safety Equipment.

Why McMinn Law?

Because these product liability cases include various companies with an army of insurance companies, who have full-time departments filled with attorneys to defend them, it is important to retain the help of an experienced attorney to stand up against their power. These cases are rarely won without a competent advocate fighting for the injured person’s rights.

Schedule a free consultation today at McMinn Law Firm. Contact us either by phone (512) 474-0222 or schedule an appointment online.