Injuries from defective products occur more frequently than most people think. Many products in the marketplace are inadequately engineered, improperly tested, or poorly fabricated. These dangerous products cause thousands of deaths and catastrophic injuries every year.
The experienced lawyers at Martinez Manglardi have won significant recoveries in a wide variety of defective products cases. Insurance companies know of our strong trial record, and our ability to fully fund complex defective product cases. We have a well-earned reputation for providing aggressive and high quality representation to our clients. We represent the injured throughout Florida.
We know the laws regarding products and the manufacturers’ and distributors’ responsibilities to ensure their products are safe. Our product liability attorneys are also familiar with the physical, emotional and financial damage a defective product can cause. If you have been injured or lost someone because of a dangerous product, you have the right to file a claim against the supplier or manufacturer of the product.
In the course of our daily lives, we use a number of products. When used as directed, we rightly assume that the products we use are safe and reliable. Unfortunately, thousands of people are injured or die each year because of dangerous products – from automobiles to insulation to medical devices to pharmaceutical drugs and supplements.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports over 22,000 deaths and 29 million injuries related to consumer products each year. Annually, consumer products cause more than $500 billion in deaths, injuries and property. We frequently hear of product recalls because of safety and design issues in motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles, children’s toys and pajamas – even the food we eat. For example, in August 2004, Sylvania issued a recall for 5.6 million light bulbs, a product present in one form or another in every single home and business across the United States.
You may feel helpless or hopeless if you are one of the innocent people who has been injured, suffered property damage or tragically lost someone because of a hazardous product. However, you do have some control. Victims injured by faulty products have the right to seek compensation, including economic damages (lost wages or medical expenses), non-economic damages (pain and suffering) and punitive damages (to punish reckless behavior). In addition to the monetary considerations of a favorable verdict, if you win your case you may find solace in the fact that those responsible for your situation will be brought to justice. Moreover, you will contribute to the public safety by making manufacturers accountable for safer and more dependable products.
Degrees of Liability
When you file a product liability claim, you are suing the makers or sellers of injurious products. Anyone in the supply chain can be held responsible for damages, including the manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer. When their product was brought to market, the manufacturers and distributors became legally obligated to provide a well-designed product that is reasonably safe when used as intended. “Strict liability” claims are the most common types of product liability suits and are designed to enable a person injured by a defective or unpredictably dangerous product to recover compensation without proving that the manufacturer or seller was actually negligent. To win a strict liability case, your attorney must demonstrate that:
- The product had an “unreasonably dangerous” defect that caused your injury, and that the defect occurred in the product’s design, during its manufacture, or during shipping or handling.
- The defect caused your injury even though you were using the product in the way the manufacturer said that it was intended to be used.
- The product that caused damage had not changed “substantially” from its original sales condition.
Other forms of product liability claims are negligence (carelessness, recklessness or malice) or breach of warranty of fitness (damage directly resulting from inadequate product warning). Each of these types of suits has its advantages and disadvantages, and your attorney will recognize and recommend the avenue that offers the greatest chance of recompense. In some cases, your lawyer may opt to use a combination of the three. While product liability provisions vary greatly from state to state, every jurisdiction requires proof that the product was defective. Your attorney will present one or more of the three types of defects that demonstrate liability:
- Design defects – these are inbuilt defects that make the product flawed prior to its manufacture.
- Manufacturing defects – these are problems that happen as the product is being built or produced.
- Defect in Warning – the manufacturer has failed to adequately instruct or warn consumers of the potential dangers in the product.
If you believe that you may have a defective product claim, it is important to seek the counsel of an attorney experienced in recovering damages from those responsible for a defective product. Time is of the essence because defective product suits are subject to a Statute of Limitations which specifies that a claim must be filed within a restricted timeframe. A successful verdict will help improve your quality of life as well as compel suppliers and manufacturers to improve the quality of their materials, increase product safety features, and provide thorough cautions regarding a product’s potential dangers.
Martinez Manglardi is on your side. If you need the advice or the assistance of a legal professional in your defective products suit, please contact Martinez Manglardi today via our online contact form, or call our Florida office at 1-800-741-2243.
1. Who can bring a Product Liability suit?
A product liability lawsuit may be brought against the manufacturer (and possibly the wholesalers, distributors and seller) of the defective product by or on behalf of an individual injured or killed by a defective product. Product liability lawsuits generally involve several legal theories including negligence, strict liability, and breach of warranty.
2. Who can be held accountable in a product liability case?
It may be possible to hold any entity in the product’s chain of distribution responsible for the harm caused by the dangerous product. This could include the manufacturer of the product, the manufacturer of a defective component of the product, a distributor of the product, or the end-seller of the product.
3. What types of damages may be sought in a product liability lawsuit?
A person injured due to a defective product may seek compensation for:
> Medical expenses
> Physical pain and suffering
> Mental anguish
> Physical impairment
> Loss of earning capacity
> Property damage
> Punitive damages
4. What is product liability?
Manufacturers of food products, drinks, engineering goods, medicines, etc are expected to be careful in their production. If they fail in their duty, they are liable to pay compensation for the consequences because their defective products might cause loss of life and damage to property. For more information, see our Product Liability page.
5. How do I prove a product is defective?
Proving a product is defective requires careful examination and evaluation of the product by scientists, engineers, and other experts. It also requires in-depth study of the history of the product’s design, patenting, and manufacture. Thorough research of applicable industry and governmental standards is essential to the successful handling of a product liability case.
6. Do I need a lawyer in a product liability case?
Due to the complexity of product liability laws and the need for expertise in the engineering and scientific fields, any victim of a dangerous product can benefit from the services of a lawyer.Contact a product liability attorney at Martinez, Manglardi, & to discuss your case.
7. If I am seriously injured by an appliance or some other type of mechanical apparatus that is more than two years old, does that mean that the product is too old to have a lawsuit for product liability?
No. A product liability claim must be brought within two years of the time when the accident occurred. This does not mean that the device responsible for the injury cannot be much older, five, ten or even fifteen years older.
8. Our brand-new power mower backfired and injured me. From whom may I recover damages?
This is a typical product liability case. You may be able to prove that the manufacturer of the lawn mower made a defective product. Most courts today hold companies responsible for a defective product strictly liable to consumers and users for injuries caused by the defect.
9. Can I bring a product liability against a manufacturer for incorrect product labeling?
Yes. Marketing defects include improper labeling of products, insufficient instructions, or the failure to warn consumers of a product’s hidden dangers. A negligent or intentional misrepresentation regarding a product may also give rise to a product liability claim.
10. Is there a Federal product liability law?
There is no federal product liability law. Typically, product liability claims are based on state laws, and brought under the theories of negligence, strict liability, or breach of warranty. In addition, a set of commercial statutes in each state, modeled on the Uniform Commercial Code, will contain warranty rules affecting product liability.