A person who has been injured using a product may be able to hold the manufacturer, wholesaler or store that sold the defective product responsible. An action can be brought against the person or company involved in designing, producing or distributing a dangerous product if evidence shows that the product was:
- Improperly designed
- Improperly manufactured
- Improperly labeled concerning warnings
When a manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer is found liable or at fault, a court can order them to pay money to compensate for injuries caused by the defective product. The court can also order the payment of additional money to penalize the responsible parties for the defective or dangerous product. These awards are called punitive damages.
Three Types of Product Liability
- Manufacturing Defect—If the manufacturer fails to make the product properly, a manufacturing defect may exist. Thus, if the finished product is substandard by comparison to identical products, the manufacturer may be held accountable for failing to catch the defect before it left the assembly line and was sold to the consumer.
- Design Defect—A design defect is one in which the whole product line, or every product of that particular model is dangerous.
- Failure to Warn—If the manufacturer knows or should have known at the time of manufacture there were risks associated with the use of the product; they have an obligation to notify the user of the product in clear language about the risks.
Product liability is more prevalent in our society than some might think. Recently, there was a major announcement made to the public regarding the recall of almost a million toys targeted to young children. The concern was lead in the surface paint, which can be a serious danger to small children. Product recalls can also be for defective safety features (like child restraint features) or other unsafe components.
Products often investigated due to injury allegations include:
- Disposable cigarette lighters
- Fires initiating on upholstered furniture
- Child restraints
- Dangerous toys causing injury
- Defective medical devices
- Prescription drugs
- Faulty automotive components (seatbelts, tires, airbags etc.)
- Various others
The financial and emotional price of defective products can be immeasurable. Each year hundreds of thousands of people are injured or killed by dangerous products ranging from toys to household equipment to cars to industrial products. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are hundreds of thousands of emergency room visits each year from faulty toys causing injury alone.
Product Liability Attorney's Recommendations
- Save the product and any documents or packaging that came with it.
- Write down as much information about the product as possible (manufacturer, model number, place and date of purchase, serial number, etc.)
- Store it in a safe place and do not modify or change it at all
- Write down the name, address and telephone number of any witnesses
- Do not discuss the case with anyone and do not give any written or recorded statements.
Attorney, Brett H. Oppenheimer works to protect consumers by investigating cases involving dangerous or defective products. If you believe you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to a defective or unsafe product contact us or call us at (502) 242-8877 to schedule a free consultation.
Product liability lawsuits can become overwhelming without an experienced Kentucky product liability attorney at your side. Let Brett investigate your claim and work through the complexities of product liability investigation and/or litigation for you. If you live in Kentucky, Brett H. Oppenheimer, PLLC will be happy to consider your case.
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