When you need a Product Liability Attorney
Product Liability. We hear this term every day, but what exactly does it mean? From the lead paint discovered poisoning our children's toys, to the
massive judgments Personal Injury Attorneys are winning against Big Tobacco companies for causing thousands to die of lung disease, Product
Liability is a growing concern in this world driven marketplace.
Each year, thousands are injured or die from faulty products manufactured both here and abroad, or from the long-term effects of products known to
cause health problems. When death or injury occur, it is necessary to hire a Product Liability Attorney. Drug companies, who now advertise to the
masses with mega-million dollar advertising campaigns, attach long lists of potential side effects and potential health risks to their products.
Sometimes, the lists are longer than the ad copy itself. Why? They are warning you. Warning because that despite the good their product can do, they
know bad things could happen to you. They are covering their legal bases and trying to protect themselves from lawsuits.
Product Liability claims are generally based on one of these three issues: negligence, breach of warranty or strict liability. The term "Product
Liability" refers to the liability of manufacturers, and any or all parties associated with that chain of manufacture for damages caused by the
product they produce. This definition is broad in scope, but the actual liability of manufacturers can scroll down to the minutest detail of a product that
causes it to be dangerous. Product liability cases are generally based on three concepts:
• a defect in design,
• a defect in the manufacturing process,
• the failure to warn of potential for danger.
These concepts assume that the manufacturer has carefully considered the potential and foreseeable dangers inherent in his product's design. So
most claims of Product Liability are not based on negligence, but on a concept called ‘strict liability.' Strict liability theory asserts that a
manufacturer can be held responsible whether or not he/she acted negligently, because it presupposes that the well-off manufacturer is in a better
position to assume the costs of liability than the victim and the manufacturer builds the cost of such liability into the price of his product. California was
the first state to assert this theory in 1963 when it stopped requiring victims to prove negligence and allowed for compensation for Product Liability
through strict liability. Strict liability theory is rarely applied to anything but manufacturing defect. It rarely includes bad designs or failure to warn. An
expert Product Liability Attorney can untangle these issues for you if you feel you've been the victim of Product Liability.
For example, in Virginia a man was using an industrial nozzle and hose to wash down some machinery. The defective nozzle exploded in his face,
inflicting catastrophic facial, eye and traumatic Brain Injuries. The manufacturer in China was found to be negligent and strictly liable in its
manufacturing of the nozzle. One wall of the nozzle was doubly thick and the other side only a few hair-widths wide. Examination of other similar
nozzles found many more examples of such a defect. The Product Liability Attorney recovered million for his injured client.
"Breech of Warranty" claims in Product Liability can cover a broad range of problems. If, for instance, in advertising or marketing a
product, the manufacturer makes claims that are not only untrue, they pose a danger to the user, they can be held in breech of warranty. Let's say the
manufacturer of a chain saw claims that it's great for cutting turkeys. That also implies it might be useful for cutting other, non-tree limb objects. The
company has given instruction on what is a reasonable expectation of the product. But when Sam Dolt uses the chain saw to carve his Thanksgiving
turkey and impress his friends, the turkey not only flies off the table injuring his guests, the chain saw jumps off the metal carving plate and hits Sam in
the shoulder injuring him, too, who is at fault? Sam, because he was an idiot for carving a turkey with a chain saw? Or the chain saw manufacturer for
suggesting it was a good idea. Sam's Product Liability Attorney argued that under breech of warranty theory, the manufacturer is liable because he
expressly stated in his marketing campaign that this was one of the product's possible uses. Sam, who does not need to prove negligence, would likely
win this case.
Claims of "Failure to Warn" are often considered to be based on negligence. First, manufacturers owe a duty to the consumer to warn of
potential problems. If they shirk that duty, then they are negligent. Secondly, if there is an injury and the breech of duty caused that injury, they are
negligent. This is why you see little warning labels stuck to electric hair dryers that warn against using near water. The manufacturer can rightly
assume that you will be using this dryer in the bathroom (where water is plentiful) and it is their duty to warn you of that potential and foreseeable
danger. If they breeched that duty, that would constitute negligence on their part.
If you live in Southern California and feel you have been injured because of product liability, contact an expert Product Liability Attorney in Los
Angeles. It is important to take this crucial step as soon as possible. There is a time limit on filing Product Liability claims.
About the Author
Dietrich Elliot is a freelance writer, teacher and retired Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney. He writes about personal injury law and issues as it
pertains to Los Angeles, the city in which he lives. You can contact Mr. Elliot by emailing him at: DietrichElliot@aol.com.