When personal injury, death, or property damage results from a defective product, a product liability claim may be filed. Some areas of product manufacturing to be considered are: construction, design, formula, preparation, assembling, testing, service, warnings, instructions, marketing, packaging, or labeling. Claims may be based upon strict liability in tort, negligence, concealment, non-disclosure, misrepresentation, breach of express warranties, breach of implied warranties, failure to warn or instruct, or under other legal theories based in tort and contract.
An individual or company can be held liable for a product if it is determined to be defective or dangerous at the time that it left the manufacturer or seller’s control. A defective product is one whose condition renders it unsafe for normal or anticipatable handling and consumption. An unreasonably dangerous product is one that is dangerous to an extent beyond the contemplation of an ordinary consumer who purchases it, or because a reasonably prudent manufacturer with knowledge of its dangerous condition would not place it on the market.
The early investigation of product liability claims is vital. Preserving physical evidence, investigating relevant scenes, and taking witness statements are all essential to a case’s success. Physical evidence must be evaluated by a qualified expert as soon as possible. The product or scene must be documented with photographs and videotape if possible. Witness statements must be taken promptly in order to preserve critical evidence.
Here is a list of just a few of the items over which suits have been filed:
- Car Seats
- Tire Separation
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- Electrical equipment and appliances
- Medical instruments
- Firearms and accessories
- Airplanes and helicopters
- Buildings and building equipment
- Materials and substances (clothing, insulation, etc.)
- Childcare products (car seats, toys, etc.)