“I was injured by a dangerous product, what should I do?” It is not uncommon for me to get this question from someone in New Port Richey (or other areas of Pasco County or Tampa Bay). There are laws that allow injured consumers to sue and recover losses from both the seller and manufacturer of an unreasonably dangerous product that has caused an injury. This blog will briefly address the most common elements that make up a product liability claim.
First, a little about what constitutes a “product.” There is not much that we do in life that does not involve some type of product. Not surprisingly, the most common product liability claims involve products that are inherently dangerous to some extent. The following is a short list of these types of products (there are countless others):
- Power Tools (saws, drills, etc.)
- Assembly Line Machinery
- Components of Machinery
- Medical Devices (e.g., hardware used during surgery)
Again, this is a short list. Something as simple as food you are served at a restaurant is considered a product as well, and has been the subject of many claims.
Elements of a Typical Product Liability Claims
Generally speaking, there are implied, and usually expressed warranties that a manufacturer makes when fabricating a product for use in the marketplace. The three most common types of product liability cases involve injuries or death due to:
- A design defect associated with the product. When the design of the product is defective, then typically every product made coming off the assembly line is unreasonably dangerous;
- A manufacturing flaw associated with a product that has resulted in injury or death. In this scenario, it’s entirely possible that the design of the product was safe, however, as few as one or two “bad units” came off the assembly line for some reason, making it unreasonably dangerous; and/or
- A failure to properly warn on the part of the manufacturer. Many products are just inherently dangerous, which does not make them defective. For example, chainsaws should certainly be handled with great caution, and we would all agree they are quite dangerous. Therefore, a manufacturer of such a tool has an obligation to properly warn consumers of how to safely use it, and of particular steps that pertain to that particular product to make it as safe as possible.
As I have mentioned in other articles, if ever an injured person needed an experienced, battle tested attorney, it is when bringing a product liability claim. It is no secret that there are injury lawyers seemingly everywhere, but how many of those TV ads do you see that plead for you to call if you were “injured by a dangerous product?” I cannot recall seeing any, as the commercials are almost always about calling after injuries from an automobile accident. There is a reason for that: Many personal injury lawyers do not handle product liability cases. They are expensive, time consuming, and almost always result in the need to file a lawsuit. There are expensive experts that must be hired, traveling to depositions (sometimes around the country), and an endless stream of court motions. Since an attorney works on a contingency fee, he or she is risking a great deal if the case does not turn out as hoped.
As a trial attorney, I embrace the challenge and risks of helping persons injured by a dangerous product. I have extensive experience in product liability cases, and have litigated them in both state and federal court. If you live in Florida and have been injured by a dangerous product, then feel free to contact me at 727-848-8892 or simply fill out the form here on this website and I’ll contact you.
By Scott McPherson
P.S. – Click on link to read article on what NOT to do if injured by a defective product.