Many thousands of people are injured by defective products every year in the U.S., with the most common injuries coming from use of defective food products, kitchen and other household appliances, personal electronics (cell phones, laptops), power tools and industrial products, cleaning products, medical devices, recreational devices, gym equipment, and automobiles. If your injuries occurred due to a manufacturing or design defect that made the product unsafe, or a failure to provide warnings or adequate instructions regarding use, you may be able to bring a product liability suit either as a direct action or class action with other plaintiffs who have been similarly injured. But the question then becomes who exactly you can bring suit against.
Manufacturers and Suppliers of Defective Parts
A manufacturer of a defective product is often the primary defendant in a product liability action, as they are strictly liable for any manufacturing defects or design defects. What this means is that, if the product was manufactured in a defective manner – for example, a safety guard was not properly installed – then the plaintiff wins without having to prove negligence. With a design defect, the plaintiff’s attorneys will prove that the manner in which the product was designed was unreasonably unsafe and a more reasonable alternative design should have been used.
In many cases, the defect occurs in a part supplied by an outside supplier, as was the case with defective airbags manufactured by Takata and installed on many automobiles. In such cases, the supplier is liable as well as the manufacturer.
Sellers and Distributors
For the most part, sellers of a product are also liable in a defective product suit, regardless of whether they knew of the defect, as are other parties in the chain of commerce leading from the manufacturer to the final seller. Such parties will be liable so long as the defect existed at the time the product was in that party’s possession. In some cases, the defect may not exist until a later stage in the chain of commerce, such as when an employee of retailer creates the defect by, for example, removing a safety mechanism.
Every liable party will be liable for up to the full amount of the plaintiff’s damages. This is important for consumers because parties, such as the original manufacturer, may go bankrupt or simply not have enough funds to pay a plaintiff’s full range of damages. Thus, bringing suit against all potential defendants is important for a plaintiff’s maximum recovery.
Contact McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP Today Regarding Your Product Liability Claim
Whether you are seeking to bring an individual product liability suit for your injuries or are interested in joining a class of similarly injured plaintiffs, the product liability legal team at McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP is waiting to hear from you. When you contact McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP, we will begin the process of investigating your situation immediately in order to work towards maximum recovery in your case as quickly as possible. You owe no legal fee unless and until you recover. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney to discuss your matter.