Defective Products Injury Cases
Defective Products Injury Cases: When products are defective in some way and cause injury, the aggrieved party may be able to seek damages under a theory of negligence or under a breach of warranty (which can be “express” [spelled out usually in writing] or “implied” [based upon certain laws that presume a guarantee of certain products]). The other theory that is often used under certain circumstances is the legal theory of “Strict Liability” (i.e. that the party should be responsible whether or not they acted or failed to act reasonably or whether or not they breached any warranties or guarantees regarding the item). How does this work?
Believe it or not, the legal definition of a “product” can be much broader than what we normally think of as commodities sitting on a shelf for sale in a store. It can include documents, real estate, homes, buildings, electricity and other utilities, blood and human tissue, medical devices, cars, construction equipment, tools, manufacturing elements, fixtures and many other things.
Although each case is different, the potential “defendants” (people or businesses against whom a claim may be made) can include the original manufacturer of the overall produce, fabricators of components of the item, companies that distribute or sell the concoction, and even the ultimate retailer. This means that persons may be held responsible if they invented, distributed or sold the items in question at any point in the chain.
The laws of the State of California are much like other states in this regard and, in some respects, more liberally interpreted. Any person injured by a product may be able to bring a claim whether or not they were the original purchaser of the goods. For example, both the driver / owner of a motor vehicle and the passengers may bring a claim if the automobile (or any of its components such as tires, brakes, ignition systems, etc.) were not functioning as they should and this caused them to be maimed or killed.
- DESIGN: The item fails to perform as an ordinary consumer would expect when used for its intended purpose or if the product’s structure caused someone to be injured and the benefits of the instrument are outweighed by the risk inherent in the construction.
- MANUFACTURING: Even if the architecture of the item is sound but, the way it was made is faulty, a claim may lie.
- FAILURE TO WARN: If the apparatus was safely designed and made but, has dangers for which the maker or distributor failed to warn, a claim may also lie.
The bottom line is that many different items (like toys, cribs, bikes, cars, boats, accessories, medical implants, instruments, and construction tools) cause various afflictions every year to the young and the old alike. These cases must be analyzed by attorneys familiar with the law and experts to reconstruct the development of the item from initial planning through sale to determine if a valid petition for monetary compensation can be made.
For more information on various recalls and other information on product defects go to the Consumer Products Safety Commission website.