The Law Offices of D. Mitchell Taylor can help assist you when a product causes personal injury or even damages to your property by assessing the personal injury and damage done by the negligent or defective product and in due time estimate a compensatory sum. Afterward we will file a claim against the manufacture, or entities responsible for the flaw in the product, to hold accountable for the injuries or damages incurred.
There are three different theories on which a products liability action may be based: negligence, breach of warranty and strict liability. A negligence theory looks to the reasonableness of the defendant's conduct. A manufacturer must exercise reasonable care in designing, manufacturing, inspecting and testing its products. Manufacturers and sellers must also exercise reasonable care to warn of dangerous conditions. If a consumer is injured by the failure of a manufacturer or seller to exercise reasonable care in discharging the above responsibilities, they may be held liable under a negligence theory.
Breach of Warranty
A products liability suit may also be based on a breach of warranty. This type of liability is based upon contract law. In sales contracts there are express and implied warranties. When these warranties are breached, an injured party may recover damages resulting from the breach. Disclaimers are often included in sales contracts and on the fine print of labels and documents included with the product.
Strict Products Liability
The challenges with the above theories are that negligence is often difficult to prove, and warranties are often excluded by disclaimers. Under strict products liability, however, it is not usually necessary to show that the manufacturer or seller was negligent or breached a warranty in order to recover damages for injuries sustained from a defective product. California law has led the way in strict products liability. Strict liability does not require proof of fault on behalf of the designer, manufacturer or seller. In a strict liability claim, the injured party need only show that: 1) the product was defective, 2) the defect existed prior to the manufacturer releasing the product, and 3) the defect caused the victim's damages.
The injured party may prove that a product is defective from any of three types of defects: design defects, manufacturing defects and "failure to warn" defects.
Design defects arise during the product design phase, or before the product is manufactured. In this situation, every product of that model or type is usually defective. A product has a design defect if a foreseeable risk of harm could have been reduced or eliminated by using another feasible design and the failure to use this alternative design caused the product to be unsafe.
A manufacturing defect exists if there are mistakes or problems during the production phase of a product. Many of the products which come off the assembly line may be safe, but other products come off the same assembly line with a defect. The manufacturer may be held liable for failing to detect the defect before the product reaches the consumer.
Failure to Warn
The third type of case is a defect which is caused by a failure to warn of a product danger. These cases typically involve a product which may be safe if used in one manner, but hazardous if used in another foreseeable manner. In these situations, the product should include clear, visible, and concise warnings explaining the danger and its consequences. If the product lacks a reasonable warning, the product is defective.
If You Have Been Injured by a Defective Product
If you or someone close to you has been injured by a defective product, you should keep the product and any packaging, instructions, and labels. These items are important in proving your case. Defective product cases can be very complex and expensive to prosecute.
The Law Offices of D. Mitchell Taylor will gather proof significant enough to illustrate that the product was certainly defective and present the facts in court.