Jacksonville Defective Product Lawyer
Manufacturers have a duty to only put products on the market which are reasonably safe for use. As consumers, we have no way of knowing whether a product is defective until it fails and disaster strikes. It is up to the product makers to check their designs and manufacturing processes to ensure quality and safety. When things go wrong, manufacturers can be held strictly liable for the injuries which result. Jacksonville defective product lawyers at Douglas & Carter have the resources and experience to go up against major manufacturers and hold them accountable for the harm they have caused with dangerously defective products.
Manufacturers can be held Strictly Liable for Defective Products
Studies conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission reveal that tens of millions of Americans seek medical treatment related to the use of a consumer product every year, with millions of injuries and tens of thousands of deaths resulting. Lawyers have many different legal theories available to hold manufacturers accountable for injuries caused by defective products, including negligence and breach of warranty claims. The most powerful legal theory is strict liability. Under strict liability, the injury victim does not have to prove that the manufacturer was negligent. All that has to be proven is that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s control, and this defect was the cause of the injuries.
Proving product defect claims is still a complex and complicated proposition. Large corporations have seemingly endless resources to hire teams of lawyers and defend against product liability claims. Also, often the evidence needed to prove the product defect is in the hands of the manufacturers, who make it incredibly difficult to find or get a hold of. Additionally, even under strict liability, manufacturers have many defenses at their disposal. For instance, they may claim any of the following to try and avoid responsibility for their defective product:
- The victim misused the product
- The victim used the product in a way which was not reasonably foreseeable by the manufacturer
- The victim’s own negligence was the cause of the accident
- The victim assumed the risk of using a dangerous product
- The victim was not the intended user of the product
- The product was modified from its original condition before the accident occurred
- The victim’s lawsuit is preempted by federal law
One of the most tragic aspects of product liability cases is that often it is discovered that manufacturers knew they had a dangerous product on their hands, yet they made a conscious decision to leave the product unchanged and litigate injury claims rather than spend the money it would take to fix a dangerous product. At Douglas & Carter, we stand up for injury victims, consumers and the general public in any type of product defect litigation, including:
- Design Defects – If a product is designed improperly from the beginning, every item sold can be hazardous to users. In this case, the company that designed the product can be held liable. For example, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is routinely recalling highchairs for babies and toddlers due to improper design that results in high risk falling over hazards.
- Manufacturing Defects – When a flaw occurs while a product is being produced and the actual product delivered to customers is different from the design, it is considered a manufacturing defect. For example, a product might become contaminated while it is being made in the factory and poison a person.
- Failure to Warn – This is a common issue with medications or hazardous cleaning supplies. For instance, if a drug should not be mixed with alcohol, but there is no warning label then the drug manufacturer can be held accountable if a person experiences severe side effects as a result of taking the drug with a glass of wine.
- Retailer Liability – If the store that sold you a defective item knew that the item was recalled or that it was otherwise dangerous, and it was sold to you regardless, the retailer can be held liable. This is sometimes the case with grocery stores that sell items that have been recalled due to e. coli outbreaks.
- Marketing Liability – Sometimes there is no defect in the product and it also has ample warning tags and proper instructions, yet it still causes serious injuries. While in most cases this is just an instance of user error, as insurance companies would like you to believe, often times this is due to unethical and unlawful marketing strategies. If a product is marketed to young children when it is only safe for adults or teenagers, or if a product is advertised as doing something that it was not actually designed for, the manufacturer can be held liable for any injuries that the product causes.
In some cases, multiple parties can be held liable. However, usually the manufacturer is the only party involved in wrongdoing, as the manufacturer is often legally responsible for the design of its products, the manufacturing of the products, and the marketing. Litigation is often the most effective or only way to expose corporate wrongdoing and force manufacturers to fix their dangerous products.
Common Defective Products
- Children’s toys – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that in 2016 there were an estimated 240,000 toy-related injuries treated at hospitals across the country. Some of those were from defective products or improper warnings on the toys.
- Automobiles – In the past cars have been recalled for various defects, including steering, brakes, airbags, seatbelts, and accelerator malfunctions that can all lead to crashes ;
- Medical devices and drugs – Millions of Americans take prescription drugs, and unfortunately the way our society allows drug manufacturers to push out new products is highly dangerous, as most do not have a long enough trial period before going onto the market ;
- Industrial equipment – heavy machinery found in factories and construction sites can cause serious injuries if they do not function properly;
- Household products – From furniture to cleaning products, the average American has tens of thousands of objects in their home. Most are safe, but many are not. And, not all recall efforts are good enough to get the word out to all past purchasers ; and
- Other mass-produced item sold for consumer use.
Experienced & Successful Attorneys for Product Defect Claims in Lake City & Jacksonville
If you have been harmed by a defective product, call Douglas & Carter at our offices in Lake City or Jacksonville for a free consultation with a knowledgeable, skilled and experienced Jacksonville defective product lawyer. Our firm has the resources and dedication to pursue your case and seek justice on your behalf.