A Product Liability Attorney Can Hold Manufacturers Responsible
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, Paul M. da Costa, a product liability attorney, and his associates at Sarno da Costa D’Aniello Maceri LLC can help. Due to the depth and nuances of these types of cases, it is important to meet with a trained attorney who has experience handling cases of this of nature. Product manufacturing and sale is a complicated process with equally complicated laws: we have the experience and resources to help you navigate your case effectively. During a consultation, we can meet with you to discuss your case, explain your options, and let you know the proper course of action. Please contact Paul M. da Costa at 973-274-5200 or PdaCosta@sarnolawfirm.com to set up a meeting at one of our three New Jersey offices.
What is Product Liability?
In a product liability case, plaintiffs seek compensation from manufacturers or retailers for injuries caused by a defective product. Common examples of such cases include faulty carbon monoxide detectors, defective car ignition switches, or drugs which lead to unexpected or dangerous side effects such as Accutane® or Fosamax®.
Depending on the circumstances, we can pursue compensation from any party in the chain of production and sale.
Product liability cases are treated differently than most personal injury lawsuits. Because there are no federal laws in place, your case will depend heavily on state laws. For many clients, this involves laws surrounding negligence, breach of warranty, and strict liability.
Depending on the circumstances, we can pursue compensation from any party in the chain of production and sale:
- Product manufacturer
- Manufacturer of any component parts
- Those responsible for assembling or installing the product
- Wholesale merchant
- Retail store that sold the product
However, the purchase of the defective product must be made in the regular course of a supplier’s business. For example, if a product bought in a garage sale proves defective, you cannot hold the person who held that sale liable.
Types of Product Liability
Because a defect can occur in any part of the multi-step process of creating and selling a product, there are many different types of liability cases. The three most common are:
- Design defects: These cases target flaws in a product’s original design which make it inherently unsafe. This would include badly designed brakes or unexpected side effects in medication.
- Manufacturing defects: These flaws result from negligence or error during the assembly or manufacturing of a product, such as contaminated medicine or medical devices.
- Marketing defects: Even if a product is designed and manufactured well, improper labeling, insufficient instructions, or inadequate safety warnings can cause injuries. For example, a radiator which comes with poor instructions can lead to serious health problems.
Building a Strong Case
For a product liability case, the plaintiff must prove two facts: first, that the product which caused the injury was defective, rather than used incorrectly; and second, that the defect made the product unreasonably dangerous. For example, an injury could be the result of incorrect use, rather than a defect, such as using a type of lighting fluid that is not intended for a barbecue. Or in some cases, the product was defective, but the defect was harmless – like a knife that was too dull.
In most personal injury cases, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s negligence led to an injury. But for product liability, it is often easier to prove that a product is defective rather than proving that the manufacturer was negligent in its production. This exception, referred to as strict liability, can substantially improve your case’s chance of success.
It cannot help every case, though. Product liability lawsuits involving unavoidably unsafe products are harder to win. For example, knives are dangerous objects but designing one that is too dull to hurt the customer would render it useless. Manufacturers and suppliers must provide proper warning for dangerous items, but there is only so much they can do to minimize risk.
Reach Out Today
Sarno da Costa D’Aniello Maceri LLC is dedicated to providing a voice to personal injury victims. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss the details of your product liability case with an Paul M. da Costa and his team.