What is my Defective Product Claim Worth?
The ares of law that attempts to recover losses for victims of defective products is known as product liability. The law protects consumers by holding responsible the person or persons responsible for a defective product that has resulted in injury.
Responsible parties for defective products can be that products designer, manufacturer, distributor or seller or any combination thereof. However, proving responsibility along the chain of people and companies involved in the creation, distribution, and marketing of a product can become complex and will require the services of an experienced product liability attorney.
Primarily, there are three types of defects that can lead to product liability:
- Design defects – Design defects occur when the initial blueprint of the product contains a flaw that renders the product unsafe. For example, in 2005, a Washington D.C. Major League Baseball umpire was struck in the throat guard of his face mask by a foul ball. The metal frame of the mask came apart and was pushed into his ear canal. The umpire was awarded a $775,000 settlement after he alleged that the face mask was defectively designed as well as not properly tested.
- Manufacturing defects – Manufacturing defects happen when, even though the product is properly designed, the production of the product rendered it defective through some sort of mistake in the process. If hardware such as screws were mistakenly left out during a product’s assembly, then the product would have a manufacturing defect.
- Warning defects – Warning signs of defective tires or other products occur when a product lacks sufficient warnings or instructions and its use results in injury. In 2003, a California police officer was shot 13 times and killed even though he was wearing a bulletproof vest. A jury found that the makers of the vest failed to warn users that the vests could deteriorate over time. The widow of the slain officer was awarded a settlement of $3.6 million.
There are different legal theories that can contribute to a product liability claim. One is the theory of strict liability which states that if a defendant is found responsible for a defective product, they are solely responsible for damages, regardless of any fault of the user.
In contrast, the theory of negligence in product liability claims states that the user of the product would need to show that the party responsible for a defective product breached the duty of creating a reasonably safe product, and those actions resulted in a loss. For example, a 29-year-old woman was killed in an accident involving an inflatable pool slide. It was found that more than 4,000 of those slides had been sold nationwide without being tested to determine if they met federal safety standards.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a defective product in Boynton Beach or in South Florida, contact the personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato. You can reach us by email or at 1-954-633-8270.