Americans use millions of products every day.  Most of the time, we use these products without even thinking about all the ways in which the products can hurt us.  But, products can and do hurt us.  The Consumer Products Safety Commission estimates that dangerous products are related to 28,200 deaths and 33.6 million injuries each year.  When companies put profit over safety, “product liability” is the area of the law that holds product manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers accountable for injuries caused by an unsafe product.

Unsafe products can include:

  • Medical devices,
  • Defective tires,
  • Over the counter and prescription medications,
  • Children’s toys,
  • Children’s products (such as car seats),
  • Auto parts,
  • Uncrashworthy automobiles, and
  • Machinery and equipment.

When someone sustains injury due to a product, there are three broad theories of possible “product liability” claims: negligence, strict liability, and warranty.  The primary difference between strict liability, negligence, and warranty is the focus of the claims.  Negligence theories focus on conduct (i.e. an unreasonable act or omission), and strict liability theories focus on the product itself.  If a product is unreasonably dangerous, strict liability might apply.  If strict liability applies, the injured party does not need to show that the manufacturer’s conduct caused the injury.  Warranty theories have yet another focus – representations regarding the product.  Breach of warranty claims are appropriate if, for example, a product does not conform to the manufacturer’s promises and/or a product is not fit for its intended use.

The three broad liability theories (negligence, strict liability, and warranty) include a number of specific liability theories, such as strict liability for failure to warn, negligent failure to warn, defective design, defective manufacture, negligent design, negligent manufacture, breach of express warranties, and breach of implied warranties.  Sometimes, injured parties also have claims arising under other consumer protection statutes and/or based upon fraud or misrepresentation.

Product liability claims are often fought against wealthy corporations and involve complicated legal and factual issues.  Law firms must possess the experience, knowledge, resources, and skill to tackle the complex nuances involved in these cases.

If you or someone you love sustained injury due to a product, contact the law offices of DeCamillis & Mattingly today by calling (502) 589-2822.