Protecting Consumers from Dangerous Products
In a country that runs on consumer goods, it’s no surprise that mistakes happen. There are state federal laws in place to regulate the production and distribution of goods, but it’s not always enough to ensure the safety of the products that reach consumers’ hands. Thousands of unsuspecting buyers have suffered serious injuries, illnesses, and wrongful death because of defective products. If you or a loved one has been injured because of a dangerous or defective product, come to Cochran Douglas, PLLC for a free consultation.
What is product liability?
Product liability refers to holding a manufacturer or seller liable – or responsible – for placing a dangerous or defective product in the hands of consumers. The laws governing product liability are different than those of general personal injury law, so hiring a firm with experience in the area is key. There is no federal product liability law, therefore each state has its own set of consumer protections that cover negligence, strict liability, and breach of warranty of manufacturers and sellers.
Types of dangerous Product Defects
Defective products are classified under three categories, based on how the product is harmful to the consumer. They are:
- Design Defects – Defectively designed products can be any type of product a consumer purchases or uses, such as poorly designed vehicles, flawed child products, inadequately designed safety equipment, etc. These claims involve products where the design itself is flawed, as is often the case with medical devices or shoddy tubing for a propane torch.
- Manufacturing Defects – A manufacturing defect is an error that occurred when the product was being made, and can make the product dangerous for use, such as a faulty airbag or smoke detector. Manufacturing defects differ from design defects in that there is nothing wrong with the product’s design; rather, there is an error in manufacturing and that makes the product dangerous to consumers.
- Failure to warn – A product that is not properly labeled or that is missing important instructions about how to use the product may result in the manufacturer being held liable. Failure to warn the consumer about potential hazards or include recommendations for correct usage of a product can lead to serious or catastrophic injuries and even wrongful death. This can include failure to warn against foreseeable misuse. These types of claims are why you often see tags stating “do not put in water” on electrical devices.
Generally, the company that manufactured the product can be held liable for an injury caused by a product it made. The company that created the product is in the best position to understand the uses of its product and any potential dangers that could result. In Washington, there are circumstances, however, where other parties in the chain of distribution can also be held accountable. That includes, for example, the retailer of the product and the distributor. This becomes increasingly important when the product at issue is made overseas.
The lawyers at Cochran Douglas, PLLC have experience handling product liability cases. We will study the circumstances surrounding your product defect injury and help you collect suitable compensation.
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