What is Product Liability?
“Product liability,” sometimes referred to as “products liability” is an umbrella term that refers to the premise that a person or business has a duty to make sure the products they design, manufacture, and sell, are safe for the general public when used as intended. Product liability can occur at any point during the design, production, or distribution of a product. When someone sustains injury or dies due to a problem with a product, they may have a product liability claim.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective or recalled product, contact the California product liability law firm of Nadrich & Cohen now for a free, confidential consultation. Our skilled legal team is available to review your potential claim and advise you of your legal options. Our attorneys never collect a fee for services, unless a recovery is made. Call 1-800-718-4658 now for your free case review.
What are Product Liability Claims?
A product liability claim is a means to both attempt to make the injured person whole, as well as hold the irresponsible party accountable for their failures. A product liability claim may be brought by an injured party. If the injured party is a child, the suit can be brought by their representative. In some product liability claims, the person isn’t just hurt, they die. When someone loses a loved one due to product liability, a wrongful death claim can be brought on their behalf by a family representative.
Generally speaking the areas covered by a product liability claim include:
- Design defect
- Manufacturing defect
- Component part manufacturing defect
- Warning label defect
- Wholesaler defect
- Retailer or marketing defect
You may have received a notice at some point that a product you had purchased was subject to recall. Either a product manufacturer or the government may institute a product recall. From baby crib bumpers to the rear bumper on your car, products are recalled when it is apparent they are unsafe. A product liability claiming a defective product is just one way to generate a product recall, which keeps other consumers safe.
Our California product liability attorneys stand ready to speak with you to evaluate your potential claim. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective or recalled product, contact us today. There are strict time limitations for making a claim. Failure to make a claim within the statute of limitations can forever bar your right to recovery. Call us now for a free, no-pressure consultation by calling 1-800-718-4658, using the live chat feature or completing the contact form on this page.
Product Liability in Aviation
Contrary to what the movies may have you believe, planes don’t just fall out of the sky. Instead, the fault may lay with the design of the wing span, the ability of the engine to handle rough air, the ability of the instruments to detect how close the plane is to the ground, or the ability of the wheels to drop when instructed. Products liability claims in aviation may relate to the design of the airplane, or the design of a particular part of the airplane. An aviation design defect claim may relate to the manufacture of parts subsequently installed into the airplane. It may instead relate to the use of certain parts, such as nuts and bolts, on certain areas of the aircraft. Obviously, failures in design, manufacture, or installation could lead to serious injury or death.
Product Liability for Medical Devices
Similarly, medical devices may be defective in some way, leading to a product liability claim. For example, a compression sleeve may be improperly designed. A heart valve may be manufactured with the incorrect grade of materials. A medical device may be marketed to be used for other than it’s “intended use.” Any of these events could lead to a medical failure that harms a patient. It may result in permanent injury, an irreversible medical condition, or death.
Product Liability and the Pharmaceutical Industry
Doctors prescribe medication for a whole host of reasons: from keeping us well, to healing us when we are sick, to preventing dangerous conditions or reducing our risks of health problems, pharmaceuticals can improve the quality of our life and the lives of our loved ones. However, sometimes pharmaceuticals can cause serious injury or death.
Sometimes, the problem is with the drug itself. For example, a drug that lowers your cholesterol, but increases your risk of getting skin cancer to 100 % within 3 years of taking the drug may not be considered a safe drug by any measure. Most drugs on the market will have some side effects in some people. Some drugs have specific problems when interacting with other medications a person is taking. When a drug has known side effects, or known problems when interacting with other medications, manufacturers have a duty to use warning labels to notify the user of these potential side effects. Failure to warn about such risks could lead to product liability claims.
Product Liability Vehicles
There are many different ways a vehicle may be defective, which may give rise to a product liability claim. For example, the car’s design may be inherently dangerous when in a head on collision. Alternatively, there may be a manufacturing defect, where a part is manufactured in a faulty way, such as an airbag that deploys without warning. There may be a problem with the way the manufacturer installed the brake system. Any problem with the car’s design, or its component parts, can lead to a vehicle recall and product liability claim.
Product Liability Lawsuit Settlements
Why Product Liability Lawsuits Settle
Just as with other types of cases in the court system, most product liability lawsuits settle without the need for a trial. There are many reasons for this. First, in most cases, the manufacturer, designers, wholesaler, or retailer will offer a settlement as an alternative to trial. Product liability attorneys often recommend settlement if the offer is reasonable. Settlements are far less stressful than trials. Additionally, settlements provide certainty. At a trial, a jury can award any amount – or no amount at all. With a product liability lawsuit settlement, the wrongdoer and the product liability attorney, on behalf of their client and with the client’s permission, agree to an amount both sides can live with.
Any product liability attorney can tell you another motivator for considering settlement rather than trial is the very real possibility of an appeal. After a trial, either side can appeal the verdict. An appeal can add one or more years to the time it takes to resolve the case. In some cases, the appellate courts have tossed out a jury verdict, and returned the case to the lower courts. This leaves the parties back at the beginning. They must start the trial over again. This, of course, may lead to another jury verdict which can then also be appealed. Product liability lawsuit settlements put an end to the process.
Things a Product Liability Lawsuit Settlement Covers
Product liability lawsuit settlements typically include:
- Lost past wages
- Lost future earnings
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering,
In cases where someone dies due to a faulty product, a product liability lawsuit settlement also covers funeral expenses for the victim. In certain instances victims may be eligible to recover punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish a manufacturer or distributor for knowingly engaging in bad conduct, as well as to deter others from engaging in bad conduct.
While no amount of money can compensate a victim’s family for the loss of their loved one, product liability attorneys negotiate a sum of money as compensation to the family as part of the product liability lawsuit settlement.
Product Liability Attorney In California
There are no federal laws that govern product liability. Consequently, each state must carve out their own rules for product liability. As California’s most trusted personal injury law firm, Nadrich & Cohen, and its legal teams have handled many California product liability lawsuit settlements, as well as trials, when necessary. But we don’t just limit ourselves to cases based in California. We represent clients across the country, protecting their rights and advocating on their behalf.
Request Your Free Product Liability Case Review Now
Call the product liability lawyers of Nadrich & Cohen now for a free, confidential consultation. We can provide a free case review, answer your questions and advise you of your legal options. We never collect a fee for our services, unless a recovery is made. Call us now at 1-800-718-4658, use the live chat feature or complete the contact form on this page.