Defective Products and Product Liability
Every year thousands of unsuspecting victims are injured or lose their life as a result of defective or unsafe products in Florida and the U.S. Manufacturers, designers and others involved in the creation, distribution and sales of products have a duty to ensure that consumers are safe and free from harm. If you were injured by a defective product, or if a loved one lost their life, you may pursue compensatory damages in a product liability lawsuit.
Defects in Design, Manufacturing and Marketing
Products that are defective in design, manufacturing or marketing and that cause injury or death may be the subject of a product liability lawsuit.
Defective design – the product was defective from the start – at the so-called “design table” - by designers, engineers, chemists, etc. Faulty engineering is a common cause of defective products.
Defective manufacturing – though the product might have been designed properly, there were one or more errors in the manufacturing and building process that rendered the product defective.
Defective in marketing – this is often the case when product instructions or safety warnings are incorrect, omitted, incomplete or limited.
A party who is harmed by a defective product does not have to be the party who purchased the product.
Examples of Defective Products
Some examples of defective products are listed below. Please note there are far too many products to list, and these are just to give you an idea of the pervasiveness of defective products:
- Automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, ATV’s, commercial trucks and buses
- Auto products – tires, brakes, air bags, steering mechanisms, engine parts, etc.
- Food of all types, including fresh and frozen foods, microwave dinners, vegetables, meat, packaged foods, breads, liquids, soda, water, condiments, dairy foods, etc.
- Baby food – baby food is often the subject of recalls due to various product liability issues, including failure to warn the consumer of potential allergens such as egg or soy, or unsterile ingredients
- Toys – children’s toys are often extremely dangerous and cause injuries
- Vitamins and supplements– must be safe for consumption and comply with FDA requirements
- Medicine and medical products – from prescription drugs to medical devices such as vaginal mesh products and defective hip and knee replacement parts
- Dog and pet food - have been manufactured with tainted or poisonous products. In certain cases metal pieces were found in dog food.
- Boats and watercraft – often the subject of defects, they must comply with safety requirements
- Kitchen – appliances, microwave ovens, gas and electric ovens and stoves, dishwashers, cooking devices such as fryers, etc.
- Common household items – chairs and furniture that break and injure victims, washing and drying machines that are defective and cause injury or harm, electric irons, steamers, etc.
- Tools – power tools can be defective in design or manufacture; instructions often incomplete or incorrect
- Electronic items – computers, televisions, smart phones (e.g., Samsung Note 7 with exploding batteries), other items that utilize electrical connections, defective batteries, plugs, parts, etc.
Proving Defective Products and Product Liability
Product liability falls under the larger umbrella of law known as torts law. A product liability case can be brought under several theories of law: negligence, strict liability, and/or breach of warranty of fitness (for a particular purpose). In many defective product cases, the claimant only needs to prove that there was a defect in the product. Once proven, the designer, manufacturer or distributor – or a combination of these parties – will be held accountable for damages.
Damages – Compensation for Victims of Defective Products
Damages vary according to the specific case. There are three basic categories of damages:
- Economic damages – includes past and future medical expenses, loss of earnings and future earning capacity, property damage, and other quantifiable expenses.
- Noneconomic damages – physical, emotional/psychological pain and suffering, loss of consortium, disfigurement, loss of the ability to enjoy life, and more.
- Punitive damages – this category applies to punish the defendant when there is extreme, reckless, egregious conduct. For example, if a vehicle or parts manufacturer knew the brakes were defective and likely to fail but sold them anyway.
You can reach Miami Personal Injury Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email J.P. directly at [email protected].