Product manufacturers have a legal obligation to ensure the products they create are safe for consumer use. When a consumer product harms an end user because of a defective design, defective material, or insufficient safety warnings, the entity responsible for the defect will face liability for the victim’s damages in a product liability lawsuit. It’s important for residents of the Roswell, GA, area to know what to do after suffering an injury from a defective product.
Types of Defective Products
Consumer products can be defective in three main ways:
- Defective design. This type of defect exists in the design of the product and therefore affects every unit produced using that design.
- Defective by production. Some error or inconsistency in the production or assembly processes created the defect. Production defects typically affect specific units or lots.
- Defective marketing. Product manufacturers must include adequate instructions for use and safety instructions with consumer products. Additionally, marketers must accurately represent their companies’ products.
Product manufacturers will typically issue a recall for a defective product, and consumers and retailers can return the affected products for refunds or replacements. Sometimes a company will provide consumers with an additional part, accessory, or other item that resolves the issue caused by the defect. For example, when the Nintendo Wii system was released, users were inadvertently throwing the Wii motion controllers because they would easily slip out of the hand with quick motions. Nintendo answered this by providing rubber covers for added grip and wrist straps for the Wii controllers.
In other cases, a product manufacturer will weigh the cost of potential lawsuits over a defect against the cost of issuing a recall and lost profits. If an end user is unlikely to expose a product defect with normal use, the manufacturer may deem it more cost effective to simply offer additional safety warnings and handle legal matters as they arise.
Suing for Product Liability
Any person who suffers an injury from a consumer product should remember the manufacturer may only bear some or no fault at all. In some cases, fault may lie with a distributor, wholesaler, retailer, manufacturer of a part or ingredient used in the product, or the party who performs an installation or final assembly of the product. Some product liability cases may have multiple defendants.
Most product liability claims fall under strict liability law, so unlike personal injury lawsuits, plaintiffs in product liability claims do not necessarily need to prove a product manufacturer or other defendant was negligent to succeed in a product liability claim. The plaintiff simply needs to prove that the product in question is defective and the defect caused the plaintiff’s damages. In some cases, the legal doctrine of res ipsa loquitur will come into play, effectively shifting the burden of proof to the defendant. In these cases, defendants must prove that they were not negligent. This is common in cases involving products that are inherently dangerous with normal use, such as kitchen knives and lawn care appliances.
Seek Reliable Legal Counsel in Roswell
It may seem daunting to attempt a lawsuit against a product manufacturer. Most large companies have in-house legal teams or high-powered attorneys on retainer, so what can the average person do? At Kaufman Law, P.C., our attorneys never back down from intense litigation, and we have a 40-year track record of successful cases in Georgia to prove it. Product manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and other potential defendants in product liability lawsuits may have easier access to legal representation, but their obligations to the public are clear.
Reach out to Kaufman Law, P.C. today to schedule a free case evaluation. One of our attorneys can meet with you at a time and place that is convenient for you to review the details of your situation. If we believe your claim has merit, we can let you know what to expect from the legal process.