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Product Liability

What Is Product Liability?

Defective and dangerous products cause thousands of injuries each year. A product liability claim is when a person who is injured by a defective or dangerous product seeks to hold the manufacturer, designer, and/or seller of that product liable for his or her injuries. In order for a product liability claim to arise, the product must have been sold in the marketplace. Liability for the defective or dangerous product lies within the product’s chain of distribution. Below is a common chain of product distribution:

  • Manufacturer of the product (including manufacturers of the components of the product)

  • Assembler or installer of the product

  • Distributor of the product

  • Retail store that sells the product to the consumer

Products can be defective in many ways including design, manufacturing, and marketing defects.

  • Design defects are those products that are inherently unsafe due to the design of the product itself.

  • Manufacturing defects are those that occur during the manufacturing or assembling process that make it unsafe for use by consumers.

  • Marketing defects include inadequate safety warnings, improper labeling, or insufficient instructions that make the product unsafe for use.

In order to receive compensation in a product liability claim, the victim has to prove that:

  • The product was defective in some way (design, manufacturing, and/or marketing)

  • The victim suffered an injury (financial, physical, and/or emotional), and

  • The injury was a direct result of the product’s defect.

Some common product liability areas include:

  • Product Recalls

  • Defective Seatbelts

  • Child Products

  • Auto Crashworthiness

  • Faulty Airbags

  • Medical Products

  • E-Cigarettes

  • Failure to Warn

  • Defective Manufacturing

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a defective or dangerous product, please contact us. We can help.

Product Recall

Product manufacturers are obligated to provide goods that do what they claim to do without endangering the consumer. When a product poses a threat to consumers, the product manufacturer must warn potential consumers of the threat through proper marketing and labeling. When a product causes unexpected injuries, the government agency that oversees the regulation of that particular product may conduct an investigation and, in some cases, force a recall. Unfortunately, a product will not be recalled by any of the agencies until it is considered defective. This means that a number of people are often injured or even die before the product gets the title “defective.” If a recalled product results in illness, injury, or even death to the consumer, the victim or the victim’s family may pursue compensation for his or her damages in Missouri.

Here are some common government agencies:

Food and Drug Administration (FDA): The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is in charge of regulating all food products and drugs that are in the United States marketplace. The most common food related recalls are contaminated food and failure to properly list ingredients. The most common drug recalls are for undisclosed side effects or when the drug causes life-threatening illness or conditions. The FDA also regulates the sale of medical device products and monitors the safety of all regulated medical products in the United States.

  • Medical Product Liability: Medical products are those medical devices, such as an instrument, machine, apparatus, or similar, that are used to diagnosis, treat, or prevent injuries and illnesses. Medical products also include cosmetic devices. Common examples of medical devices include pacemakers, x-ray machines, hip replacements, breast implants, cochlear implants, and mesh implants. When one of these numerous medical devices is defective the resulting injuries can be severe and even deadly. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a defective medical device or a recalled medical device, we can help. It is crucial that you obtain legal representation to help you with your claim against the manufacturer.

  • E-Cigarettes/Vaping Devices: Commonly referred to as vaping, vaporizing has become one of the hottest trends in the last ten years. E-cigarettes and other vaping devices are touted as healthier alternatives to smoking tobacco cigarettes (which has yet to be determined). Aside from the dangers associated with inhaling e-cigarette vapor, the device itself can be dangerous. E-cigarettes and other vaping devices have been exploding like bombs in the faces of their users. Depending on the facts of the case, the severely injured user may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer(s) of the e-cigarette or vaping device. If you or a loved one has been injured by an exploding e-cigarette or other vaping device, we can help.

Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC): The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is in charge of protecting consumers from suffering “unreasonable risks” of injury or death from using products that are under the jurisdiction of the agency. The most common products under the jurisdiction of the agency include children’s toys (strangulation or choking hazards), cribs (collapse risk), and appliances (fire hazards).

  • Child Products: As a society, parents, and guardians, protecting our children is of utmost importance. Children are particularly vulnerable and as such manufacturers of child products have a legal obligation to provide consumers with safe products and to warn consumers when a product may be dangerous. There is a wide range of items that can cause serious injury to children, and in some cases, even death. Some examples of children’s products that have been recalled are cribs, toys, baby formula, medicines, and clothing. There is a wide array of reasoning for recalls but some of the more common ones are choking hazards, falling hazards, flammable clothing, lead-contamination, strangulation and entrapment hazards, and more. If your child has been injured to due a defective product, we can help.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) oversees all things auto-related. The most common auto-related recalls or defects include brakes that fail to work, defective tires, defective seat belts, child seats, booster seats, accelerators that stick, and vehicle crashworthiness.

  • Defective Seatbelts: As if driving wasn’t dangerous enough, imagine when the thing that was designed to keep you safe is defective. While it is not easy to prove that someone was wearing a seatbelt, investigators will look for signs of seatbelt failure. It is also important to preserve the vehicle if you or a loved one is injured (or killed) due to ejection or partial ejection from a vehicle after a crash. Some examples of seatbelt defects include: fraying, failure to remain latched, and failure to lock. If you or a loved one has been ejected or partially ejected from a vehicle after a crash, contact us as soon as possible. We can help.

  • Auto Crashworthiness: Crashworthiness is the ability of the vehicle to sustain an impact and protect the driver and passengers in the event of an accident. Auto manufacturers are obligated to provide vehicles with a certain level of safety to consumers. They test the crashworthiness of the vehicle through crash simulations using crash test dummies. When a victim is severely injured due to a lack of crashworthiness, the vehicle’s manufacturers are liable. As such, if you or anyone you know is involved in a serious car accident, it is important to preserve the vehicle in its damaged state for inspection for things like product defects, malfunctions, and design flaws. If you or someone you know is severely injured or killed in a car accident, it is important to contact us as soon as possible. We can help.

  • Defective Airbags: Much like defective seatbelts, when the airbags of a vehicle are defective, the resulting injuries can be severe and even result in death. Some common examples of airbag defects include failure to deploy, deploying at the wrong angle, suddenly deploying, deploying too forcefully, and even deploying too slowly. Each of which can result in serious injuries and, in some cases, death. If you or someone you know has been involved in a serious accident where the airbag was deployed or should have been deployed, it is important that you preserve the vehicle in the damaged state. It is also important to preserve the vehicle if the airbag being deployed when it should not have been is what caused your injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a serious accident, it is important to contact us as soon as possible. We can help.