Personal injuries are often associated with injuries resulting from a car accident or a slip and fall accident at a place of business. But there’s another type of injury that falls under the expertise of a personal injury lawyer, and that is product liability. A product liability case can occur when a consumer is injured by a product in some way and that injury was something that the manufacturer could have reasonably foreseen. Often, these products are pharmaceuticals, but not always. Here’s more about the product liability portion of personal injury.
Generally, a product liability claim refers to a lawsuit filed by a consumer against the manufacturer of a product that was put into production and sold to the public. Product liability can be a vehicle, a medicine, a toy, a food, or anything else that’s been deemed safe for the public but has instead caused injuries, illness, or even death to one or more consumers.
For example, when a car sold with a defective part causes the vehicle to malfunction, the manufacturer of that part will be the target of the lawsuit. But, if the part that has caused the malfunction can’t be identified, every manufacturer involved with the car’s production can be sued for liability. In fact, it’s possible that even the dealership that sold the car can be held partially responsible for the damages, depending on the circumstances.
When a product is poorly designed or designed in a way that presents a danger to a consumer that can’t be mitigated through precautions, it is considered a design defect. For example, if the manufacturer could have reasonably seen that the design could cause an injury, they can be held liable.
For example, if a fan is designed with a protective guard in front of the blades, but the guard’s slats are wide enough for a hand to slip through and cause an injury by the blades, the manufacturer could have reasonably foreseen that someone would stick their hand through the guard.
Certain consumer products require a warning label or instructions that explain to a consumer how to safely and correctly use the products. If there is no warning label on such a product, or the label or instructions are insufficient, the manufacturer can be held liable for neglecting to warn the consumer about the dangers of using the product.
For example, suppose a cleaning solution can’t be mixed with another type of cleaning product. In that case, this needs to be on a warning label, so the consumer doesn’t accidentally or purposely mix the two chemicals and create a dangerous gas or liquid. However, if there is no warning label on the product or the label says it may be unsafe with other chemicals (instead of saying do not mix with other chemicals), the label may be considered insufficient.
In these cases, the product design is flawless, but the production process creates a dangerous product due to improper assembly or machinery malfunction. For example, if a playset swing is shipped with a cracked chain, this would be considered a manufacturer defect that could result in an injury, but the actual design of the swing is fine.
With all the consumer products available for purchase today, there are bound to be some that aren’t safe for people to use. If you run into that situation, contact a personal injury attorney to help you navigate the legal process.
By Patrick P. | 06/08/2022
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