Top Product Liability Lawyers
Defective Products Injuries
Each year, numerous adults and children alike are injured or killed by defective products. Manufacturers and distributors have a responsibility to provide consumers with safe products through careful testing and inspection, labeling, and warnings.
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission details laws and regulations that manufacturers must follow in an effort to protect the public against unreasonable risks of injury associated with consumer products. When companies or manufacturers act carelessly or sidestep these rules and cause injury or death, they can be held responsible in court.
When you or a loved one are harmed because of a defective or dangerous product, it is important that you contact a product liability lawyer as soon as possible to assist you with your case. The Fitzgerald Law Firm is here to help you through the complexity of a product liability claim.
What is a “Defective Product”?
A defective product can be any type of consumer good, from a tire to food, that causes injury or illness due to a specific element that causes harm. Claims typically fall into one of three main grounds, each requiring unique legal strategies and discovery. In some cases, a claim can cover multiple grounds for liability.
The Fitzgerald Law Firm can help you seek damages for any of the following categories:
- Design Defect. This indicates a flaw with the design of the product prior to its manufacturing, that makes it unsafe. Common examples include structurally unstable furniture that topples over or a power tool safeguard that functions improperly and doesn’t protect against injury. Manufacturers can compensate for some design flaws with labels and warnings, indicating a safety concern. If the product's defective design causes an injury, the corporation can be held liable for negligence.
- Manufacturing Defect. Is an unintentional design flaw that occurs during the production process or construction of a product when a product is improperly built and departs from its intended design. Manufacturing defects typically only affect a single product or a limited number of products, not the entire line. Examples include contamination of medicinal or food products, incorrectly attached parts that weaken the product’s overall design or tires.
Production controls and regulatory oversights at manufacturing facilities are intended to limit the number of defective products that reach the consumer, but manufacturers don't always make safe products. Most manufacturing defect cases are complex.
- Marketing Defect. When a company fails to market a product with consumer safety standards in mind, such as proper warnings, they may be held liable for injury or death that is a direct result of that deviation from commercial responsibility. Common examples of marketing defects include failure to warn, improper warning labels, false claims, and improper user instructions. Labeling should be prominently displayed and highly visible using color-coded words.
The Fitzgerald Law Firm handles product liability and recalls involving the most common defective products, including:
- Industrial machinery
- Food products
- Household appliances
- Automotive defects
Common Injuries of Defective Products
When products do not work as intended, they have the potential to cause a broad range of catastrophic injuries depending on the nature of the product. Common injuries that are a result of defective products include:
- Broken bones
- Organ failure
- Head injuries
In order to enforce industry safety standards, The Consumer Product Safety Commission, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the United States Coast Guard, the Food and Drug Administration, the US Food and Drug Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency have all partnered to create Recalls.gov in an effort to provide consumers with transparency about product recall information and report defective products to the government.
Government regulations require companies and manufacturers to make products safe, guard against foreseeable hazards, and warn consumers about potential hazards in the product itself that cannot be made safe. Laws surrounding the sale and distribution of unsafe products can vary by state and defective product cases are known to be complex as a number of parties may be held responsible. Finding an attorney who is experienced in product liability law is important to your case.
What Damages can be Recovered from a Product Liability Lawsuit?
Injuries caused by defective products can be severe and the resulting medical costs can be overwhelming. The company or manufacturer at fault for a defective product is financially responsible for the damages caused by the incident. If negligence caused personal injury, the potential damages include:
- Disability and/or disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress experienced as a result of the injuries and those reasonably probable to be experienced in the future
- Loss of enjoyment of life and any loss of enjoyment of life reasonably probable to be experienced in the future
- Loss of earnings and earning capacity
- Medical expenses
Jim Fitzgerald served as trial counsel to the relatives of a man who killed his family and himself after taking the antidepressant drug, Paxil, made by GlaxoSmithKline. A U.S. District Court jury in Wyoming ruled that the company was 80% responsible for the deaths for failure to provide doctors with pertinent information and warnings they could pass along to patients about possible suicide and homicide. The jury reached an $8,400,000 verdict.
What to do if you are Injured by a Defective Product
If you or a loved one is injured by a defective product, stop using the product and seek medical attention immediately. It is always a good idea to take photographs and collect statements from medical professionals or witnesses, and gather as much information as you can in case you need to prove that your injuries were a direct result of the defective product.
Contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your course of action. In Wyoming, the statute of limitations for a product liability action is four years from the time of injury, in most states, it is shorter. Delaying legal action could jeopardize your ability to file a claim.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured due to a faulty or defective product, it is important to contact an experienced attorney immediately. Each defective product case is unique and requires a detailed analysis of the product, an investigation into its manufacturing process, an evaluation of damages, and communications with aggressive insurance companies.
Reaching out to an attorney is the first step in finding out if you have a case. The experienced Wyoming defective product lawyers at The Fitzgerald Law Firm can answer your questions during a free, confidential consultation. Contact us here and let us help you on your road towards justice.