Products Liability

Products Liability Law

Products liability is the area of law that requires designers, manufacturers and suppliers to compensate consumers for injuries caused by defects and hazards in the products they design, make and market.  The purpose of products liability law is to motivate the entities involved in manufacturing products to do every reasonable thing to ensure the safety of these products as well as ensure that the costs of injuries resulting from defective products are paid by the parties who place the defective products on the market.

Negligence

There are three different theories on which a products liability claim or cause of action may be based: negligence, breach of warranty and strict liability. A negligence theory looks to the reasonableness of the potential defendant’s conduct. A manufacturer must exercise reasonable care in designing, testing, manufacturing, marketing and inspecting its products.  Manufacturers, sellers and re-sellers must also exercise reasonable care to warn of potentially dangerous conditions.  If a person or consumer is injured by the failure of a designer, manufacturer or seller to exercise reasonable care in discharging their responsibilities, they may be held liable under a negligence theory.

Breach of Warranty

A products liability suit may also be based on what is known as a breach of warranty. Breach of warranty liability is based upon contract law.  Sales contracts have both express and implied warranties.  When these warranties are breached (broken or not honored), and a person becomes injured as a result of the breach, they may recover damages resulting from that breach.  Disclaimers are often included in sales contracts and on the fine print of labels and documents included with the product so as to negate warranties that can be negated.

Strict Products Liability

The challenges with the above two theories is that negligence is often difficult to prove.  Additionally, warranties are often excluded by standard disclaimers. Under strict products liability law, however, it is not usually necessary to show that the manufacturer or seller was negligent or breached a warranty in order to recover damages for injuries sustained from a defective product; strict liability does not require proof of fault on behalf of the designer, manufacturer or seller.  In a strict liability claim, the injured party need only show that: 1) the product was defective 2) the defect existed prior to the manufacturer releasing the product and 3) the defect caused the victim’s damages.

The Three Types of Defects

The injured party may prove that a product is defective from any of three types of defects: design defects, manufacturing defects and defects of “failure to warn”.

Design Defects

Design defects occur in the product design phase, before the product is manufactured. In this situation, every product of that design is defective.  A product has a design defect if a foreseeable risk of harm could have been reduced or eliminated by using another feasible design, the failure to use this alternative design caused the product to be unsafe and the unsafe design of the product caused injury.

Manufacturing Defects

A manufacturing defect exists if there are mistakes, defects or problems created when the product is being produced.  Most products are safe but defectively produced products give rise to a claim when those defects cause injury.  The manufacturer really commits two acts of negligence; making the product defectively and negligently not detecting the defective product before it is put into the stream of commerce.

Failure to Warn

The third type of case is a defect which is caused by a failure to adequately warn of a product danger.  These cases typically involve a product which may be safe if used in one manner, but hazardous if used in another manner which is foreseeable.  In these situations, the product should include warnings that easy to find, read and understand that explain the danger and its consequences.  The product is defective because of its defective warning.  A defect like this might arise when instructions for use of a baby car seat neglect to instruct on its proper securitization to the car’s back seat.

Regardless of the exact type of defective product theory that should be employed, here are some products, ways people are injured and topics which often are connected to serious injury in the products liability realm:

  • All-terrain vehicles (ATVs)
  • Auto recalls
  • Car fires
  • Children’s toys
  • Children’s injuries: choking
  • Consumer products especially in the garage, kitchen and children’s room
  • Dangerous & defective automotive products
  • Defective air bags
  • Defective child seats
  • Defective medical devices
  • Defective motorcycles and helmets
  • Defective seat belts
  • Defective tires
  • Defective vehicle components
  • Exercise equipment
  • Household products
  • Medical products
  • Over-the-counter drug side effects
  • Personal watercraft
  • Prescription drug side effects
  • SUV rollover
  • Toxic exposure

What to Do if You Have Been Injured by Any Kind of Defective Product

If you or someone close to you has been injured by a defective product, you should keep the product and any receipts, packaging, instructions, and labels. These items are important in proving your case.  Defective product cases can be very complex and expensive to pursue; you should select a law firm with substantial experience in personal injury law and which has sufficient resources.  If you would like a free no-obligation consultation regarding an injury caused by a defective or hazardous product, please call a Dallas and North Texas personal injury and product liability lawyer at The Law Offices of Adrian Crane or contact us online through the case evaluation form found on this website.

If you or a loved one has suffered any kind of serious injury as a result of the use of a product which you believe may have been defective, you owe it to yourself and your family to hire an attorney who specializes only in representing injured victims.  Contact an attorney at The Law Offices of Adrian Crane by calling or contacting us through the case evaluation form located on this website.

For your convenience, we offer home, hospital, office and nursing home visits.  Our team of professionals at The Law Offices of Adrian Crane will provide you with the experience, strategy and commitment that protect your rights and claims.

At our personal injury firm, you speak directly with an attorney, not just secretaries and paralegals.  A Spanish-speaking attorney and staff members are available for your assistance. Se habla Español.

Attorneys associated with The Law Offices of Adrian Crane handle cases across the state of Texas.  Our principal office in North Texas is in Dallas however r we are happy to welcome cases from anywhere in Texas, regardless of where you live or where the accident took place.


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