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Product Liability

Newspaper headlines are routinely filled with the stories of people who have been injured or killed as a result of a defect in a product. Sometimes these defects are known to manufacturers who make a calculating business decision to risk inflicting injuries and/or death on others to maximize their profits. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission calculates that the deaths, injuries, and property damage resulting from consumer product incidents cost our nation more than $700 billion a year.

Those who make products available for the use of the public should be held responsible when those products cause injuries. Those who can be held accountable include the manufacturers, the designers, the distributors, the suppliers, and the retailers who sell and resell products. Any kind of product – from an automobile to a new prescription drug – has the potential to contain a defect that can inflict injuries on those who use it. Commonly, injuries from products could have been avoided had additional safety measures been taken by those who design, manufacture, or distribute products. Often, however, those additional safety features and measures cost money and are not added or taken until the defects have injured or killed users and product safety lawsuits have been filed.

There are many different kinds of claims they can be bought in a products liability case. Some of them are negligence, strict liability, breach of warranty, and consumer protection claims. Depending on the facts of a particular case, each claim requires that different facts be proven in order for the lawsuit to succeed.

The most common types of product liability claims include design defects. Design defects are those defects that existed prior to a product being manufactured. These claims are common in instances when a product does what it was designed to do, but is unreasonably dangerous to use because of a defect in the way it was designed. On the other hand, a manufacturing defect is a defect that occurs during the construction or production phase of a product that causes only some of the items being produced to be defective. Marketing defects are those that occur when there are improper instructions given or when consumers are not properly warned of latent (or unseen) dangers in the use of a product. For example if a medicine instruction label contained the wrong dosage amounts, the drug company would have a duty to warn the public and the medical community of the error, and would be responsible for any injuries the erroneous labeling caused.

Product liability laws across the nation were designed to protect consumers from dangerous products and to allow consumers who have been injured by defective products to hold accountable those responsible for placing such a product on the market. While every case is different, consumers can often seek compensation from multiple parties who bear responsibility for a defective product by suing all parties at the same time including the manufacturer, retailer, distributor, and/or wholesaler. In other words, when bringing a product liability claim, generally, all of the parties in a defective products chain of distribution can be sued and held responsible in one case.

When bringing a products liability case, the injured plaintiff may be awarded monetary damages designed to make them “whole.”

These damages may include compensation for:
• Medical Bills
• Lost Wages
• Pain and Suffering
• Loss of Marital Benefits
• Disability and Disfigurement
• Mental and Emotional Distress

If a defendant’s actions prove to have been particularly outrageous, punitive damages may also be awarded. Although they are paid to the victim, punitive damages have no bearing to the actual loss suffered by a victim. Instead, they are designed to punish a defendant whose conduct has been particularly outrageous and to discourage others from engaging in similar activities.

While defects can potentially be found in any product, the most serious recent products liability claims have been brought against the manufacturers of cars, pharmaceutical drugs, and medical devices. Anyone who has been injured due to an unsafe or defective product may be entitled to recover compensation for damages and losses suffered as a result of its use. Defective products claims are often complicated and complex.

For that reason, it is important to speak with a products liability attorney. At the Law Offices of Troy King we can help evaluate and analyze your claim. For a free evaluation, contact us today. You may reach an attorney with the Law Offices of Troy King by calling our toll-free telephone number, (855) 335-8769, or by clicking here to complete a free case evaluation form.