Every year, thousands of consumers sustain serious injuries from defective products. A defective product liability attorney can help you with an injury you may receive. Many of these injuries could be avoided if the manufacturers or distributors of these products took additional steps to ensure consumer safety. Defective products that commonly cause injuries include medical devices, pharmaceutical products, and other defective products such as toys, cars and automotive parts.
There are a number of reasons that defective products make it to our shelves:
- Defective manufacturing
- Inadequate testing
- Design defects
- Marketing Misrepresentation
To protect yourself and your family, it’s important to know what products have been recalled because they are defective or unsafe. Federal agencies such as the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the CPSC (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission) frequently issue recalls for medical devices, drugs, and products that may be harmful to consumers.
Consumers that have been harmed by defective products such as drugs, medical devices, or other products, may be eligible to receive legal remedies. Such legal remedies, or damages, may include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, loss of physical capacity, pain, suffering, and mental anguish. Punitive damages are also available in many jurisdictions to punish defendants in those cases involving particularly egregious conduct which demonstrates a reckless or wanton disregard for the safety of the public.
If you work at a company that manufactures or markets products, such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices, or any other company that is regulated by the government, and you believe the products are defective, you could have a valid qui tam claim.
If you have been injured by a defective product, there are important steps you should take. Should you or a loved one need legal assistance due to injuries from a defective product, please click here.
Every year, thousands of consumers sustain serious injuries from common household products that are defective. These goods usually seem harmless until an injury occurs. Some examples of defective or unsafe consumer products include: automobiles and automotive products, toys and children’s products,
Manufacturing Flaw or Defect
First, a product can be unreasonably dangerous because of a manufacturing defect. A manufacturing defect occurs when the manufacturer fails to make the product in accordance with plans and specifications set forth for the product. The design of the product might be flawless, but, one or more of the actual items is dangerously defective because it was made improperly. The plaintiff must also prove that the manufacturing defect caused the injury. In other words, the defect must have existed when the product left the manufacturer’s hands and the product was unaltered when it cause the injury.
Design Flaw or Defect
Second, a product can be unreasonably dangerous because of a design defect. A design defect occurs when the entire line of products produced by the manufacturer is unreasonably dangerous. Generally, to determine whether the product is unreasonably dangerous, states use some variation of a balancing test. The balancing test weights the utility of the product against the danger that it poses. In most cases, the plaintiff will offer proof of a “safer alternative design” that the manufacturer could have used which would have prevented the injury. The court will use the balancing test to weigh the feasibility of a “safer alternative design”, the cost and availability of safety features and the extent such modifications would diminish the product’s effectiveness.
Inadequate Instructions or Warnings
Finally, a product can be rendered unreasonably dangerous because of inadequate instructions or warnings. Inadequate instructions or warnings occur when the manufacturer or distributor of the product does not provide the consumer or user with sufficient information regarding the danger involved in operating, using, maintaining or cleaning the product. In order for instructions or warnings to be adequate, they must be conspicuous and completely warn the customer of the degree of risk involved in failing to abide by the warnings or instructions. The lack of adequate instructions or warnings may render a product defective even though the product was not otherwise flawed. The warnings may also be required to be in more than one language if it is reasonably foreseeable that people will use the products who do not speak English.
In cases involving inadequate warnings, the presumption is that if the adequate warning had been given then the consumer would have read and heeded the warning. This presumption can only be rebutted with evidence that the consumer had some personal characteristic which would have cause the consumer not to have heeded any warning, even if an adequate warning had been provided.
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