When you buy something at a store, you expect that it will work, work properly and not cause you or others any harm.
It’s not too much of a stretch to expect things that you buy at a store to work. After all, you’re paying for a working product that is supposed to do its job and not cause anyone serious injuries. However, if the product happens to be defective and does cause harm or death to the user, you may be entitled to damages for the injuries.
In order to recover any damages you may have sustained, you’d be contacting a product liability attorney and filing a product liability lawsuit against the maker of the item and against other parties all along the marketing chain, starting with the manufacturer right on down to the end retailer of the product.
What is the definition of a defective or faulty product? In most instances, a product is either faulty or defective if it causes injury or damage to a person because of the defect, because of improper labeling or due to the way the product was used. Generally speaking it’s not “just” the maker of the item that has to face the music in a lawsuit; it’s the distributor, the supplier, the eventual retailer, and anyone else that happens to be associated with selling the item(s).
However in some states this is not the case. For instance, in Texas, there is a general rule that you can only sue the manufacturer of a defective product. There are a few exceptions that allow you to sue a retailer if they helped contribute to the design of the product, or if the maker of the product has gone bankrupt, but those are rare.
The long chain of responsibility isn’t something to be taken lightly, and for this reason most manufacturers tend to take their responsibilities seriously. However, life happens and now and again something drastic slips through quality control and the end result is a product liability lawsuit.
Product liability lawsuits may include child products, drugs, power tools and other similar equipment, cribs, flammable products, brakes, airbags, and seat belts. Not only is there the potential for product liability lawsuits inherent with many of these named products, if the situation is serious and widespread enough, there is power in numbers and a class action lawsuit may be the end result.
In most cases, there are three kinds of product defects: marketing defects, manufacturing defects and design defects. A design defect is fairly straightforward and relates directly to how the item was “designed” and the fact that because of that design, it is not safe for the original intended use.
Manufacturing defects usually happen when the product is being made. This will mean the final product may then fail because of how it’s put together not because it wasn’t designed the right way. Basically defects are usually the result of poor or wrong materials or inadequate quality control.
Marketing defects come about when the maker doesn’t warn the user of a danger inherent in the product, or on the other hand fails to provide clear and proper instructions on how to use the product. Put another way, this type of defect directly relates to how a product is sold.
If you or a loved one has had a bad experience with what you suspect may be a defective product, it’s well worth your while to speak to a skilled personal injury lawyer with experience in this area. You may have a case and be able to recover for any damages you incurred.