Have you been injured by a defective product? You have the right to assume that products you buy in stores (and online) are safe for their intended purpose. When those products do not live up to proper standards, for whatever reason, you need the help of a Phoenix product liability attorney who will fight for your rights. Your injuries have likely resulted in steep medical bills, and you have been forced to endure the pain of your injuries. You may also have lost time from work. These and other losses may be recoverable when you choose the Kelly Law Team as your legal representative.
What is Product Liability?
Product liability is the area of the law that holds individuals and companies responsible for products that injure people. The particular role a person or corporation plays in the process can be as manufacturer, supplier, seller, retailer, wholesaler or any other role that contributes to the creation of the product or to making the product available to the public.
When you are injured by a defective or dangerous product, the responsible parties can be held liable under various legal theories. Depending upon the particular circumstances of your case, the applicable legal standard may vary. Some of the more common of these standards include
- Strict liability;
- Breach of warranty (express or implied); and
- Violation of any one or more of a number of federal and state consumer protections laws.
Because of the numerous possible theories of liability, as well as the nature of defective design and other issues in these cases, they can be, and often are, complex from a both a legal and a practical standpoint. In addition to in depth knowledge of the law, you need the services of a product liability lawyer who can understand and litigate numerous types of issues, including those involving engineering, scientific and medical matters.
Types of Product Liability Claims
There is no limit on the type of claims that fall under the general heading of product liability. But to become familiar with the area, it is helpful to understand some of the problems that can lead to a product causing personal injuries:
- Defective design. These are defects that exist independent of the manufacturing process. Indeed, a product could be manufactured perfectly and to the exact specifications called for, but the problem is that those specifications lead to the creation of a product that is dangerous because of the way the product was designed. Some examples of defective designs are (1) an automobile whose gas tank is positioned in a way that contributes to explosions when the car is hit from behind (generally, this is relates to an issue referred to as “crashworthiness”); (2) defective medical devices, such as hip implants, knee implants and similar devices; (3) children’s toys, household appliances and other common products that cause injuries because of the manner in which they were designed; and (4) construction problems caused by faulty design, which leads to injuries.
- Faulty manufacturing. When a product is manufactured or otherwise created in a manner inconsistent with the intended design, the result may be the placing of a dangerous and injury-causing item into the stream of commerce, where it is eventually purchased and/or used by an unsuspecting consumer. The inconsistency could be failure to follow the original design, use of substandard materials, or simply shoddy workmanship. In any of these cases, you could be injured as a result of the faulty manufacturing process. Examples of improper manufacturing include (1) use of substandard materials in a power tool. This could allow the tool to break apart under ordinary use, causing severe injuries to the person using it; (2) a poorly manufactured car or truck break system, which causes the breaks to fail without warning; and (3) poor workmanship in building construction, causing the collapse of a floor, ceiling or other portion of the structure.
- Dangerous toys and recreational equipment. These are actually subcategories of the design defect area, but we place them in a separate category here because they often affect young children, thousands of whom are injured each year by such products. Children do not exercise the same caution as adults, nor are they apt to follow (or even to understand) warnings. Swing sets that overturn, toys with small parts that can be swallowed and choke a youngster, and other recreational equipment that can lead to serious injuries, may all be the subject of a claim for damages against the manufacturer, supplier, retailer, and/or others involved with the particular item.
- Toxic torts. Toxic tort cases concern substances that are sold, or used in the manufacture and creation of other products, and that cause injuries, often because of their chemical makeup. Exposure to these products can be from consumer goods, the environment, your home, or your workplace. Some toxic torts are well-known, and some are not. Some of the more “celebrated” chemicals are (or are found in) asbestos, tobacco, hexavalent chromium, mercury, pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s), dioxin, and others. The list is extensive. But toxic tort cases also include pharmaceutical products (drugs) that cause illnesses and damage to people, including birth defects, heart attacks and other problems.
- Failure to warn. These are sometimes referred to as labeling defects, or marketing defects. The essence of these cases is an inherent defect in a product which may not be obvious to the average person who might use it, but which could have been remedied by placing sufficient warnings and/or instructions by the manufacturer or supplier. In addition, these cases include products such as pharmaceuticals, where the manufacturer knew or should have known about a specific danger, but failed to warn consumers. Many involve the issue of whether the particular risk involved – the one that you say the manufacturer should have prominently disclosed and warned you about – was foreseeable.
Given the nature of product liability, litigating these cases is often a complex matter requiring not only specialized knowledge, but also the determination and drive to overcome whatever obstacles the manufacturer and other defendants may attempt to place in the path of establishing liability and damages. It is therefore crucial that your attorney be willing to do whatever it takes to insure that you have the best chance of being compensated for your injuries.
Product Liability Law Firm in Phoenix
There is a vast number of reasons that could lead to an injury caused by a defective product. The number of possible products, the circumstances under which they are used, marketing and labeling defects, design defects, and toxic torts, all require sophisticated legal and technical analysis. They have caused injuries and deaths, and continue to do so on a regular basis throughout Arizona and the rest of the country. The people, and the companies, responsible for creating, manufacturing and distributing these products may all share legal responsibility, to one extent or the other, for your injuries.
The thought of taking on a large pharmaceutical company, an automobile manufacturer, or some other business giant may seem daunting at first. But remember that an experienced trial attorney is often confronted with what may look at first glance to be overwhelming odds, yet meets those challenges head-on, and does what is necessary to level the playing field for his clients. John Kelly is a first-rate trial lawyer with dozens of jury trials to his credit. His level of dedication means that the interest of his clients always come first.
If you have been injured by a product, a drug, a chemical, or similar substance, you owe it to yourself to do everything you can to receive compensation for your injuries. Contact the Kelly Law Team today and schedule a free consultation with an experienced trial lawyer.
Call the Kelly Law Team at 602-283-4122