Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of consumer products have a legal responsibility to ensure that their goods are safe and free of defects that may cause injuries or loss of life. In cases where negligence results in an accident that causes injury or death, victims may qualify to participate in a lawsuit seeking monetary compensation for damages. This is known as product liability law.
Product liability lawyers pursue justice on the basis of common law and the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). Article 2 of the UCC states that there is an “implied warranty of merchantability in consumer goods sold and an implied warranty that the goods will be fit for the purpose for which they were sold.” Therefore, product liability exists if a product contains fundamental defects which cause harm to the consumer.
Manufacturing safety regulations are intended to assure the public that products that enter the marketplace are safe for their intended use. Unfortunately, in recent years, there has been an erosion of product safety laws, as politicians on the state and federal levels have given in to demands to relax safety standards. As a result, there has been a dramatic increase in injury and death resulting from defectively designed consumer products.
What Constitutes a Defective Product?
A defective product is one that causes injury or death to a consumer because of a flaw in the product or its labeling or the manner in which it was used. The manufacturer – and in some cases the distributor – of these products may be held liable for the injuries they cause. Three common legal theories that can serve as the basis for successful product liability lawsuits are:
- Product manufacturing defect – injuries or death resulting from a defect that occurred during the manufacturing process.
- Defects in design of product – Injuries caused by faulty product design, regardless of lack of defect in the product that caused the injury. In these cases, a safer alternate design that was available at the time of manufacture should have been used but wasn’t, and the injury or death was caused by this design flaw.
- Inadequate warning or failure to warn – Injury or death caused by potentially dangerous product sold without a proper warning. An example would be an over-the-counter (OTC) medication sold without a warning on its labeling discussing its hazards of use or that it should not be taken with certain other drugs.
Schmidt & Clark, LLP, is currently accepting new claims against the manufacturers of the following dangerous and defective consumer products: