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fort lauderdale product liability

Our personal injury lawyers are highly experienced in product liability and defective product lawsuits and have received millions in settlements and verdicts in favor of our clients. If you want to learn more about how we can help you, schedule a free consultation by contacting us online or by calling (561) 655-1990.

What is product liability?

“Product liability” means that any party responsible for manufacturing, marketing, or selling a harmful or defective product can be held liable when that product causes consumers harm. Potentially liable parties can include:

    • Designers
    • Manufacturers
    • Wholesale distributors
    • Marketers
    • Retail Store Owners

Types of product liability cases we handle

There are several types of defects that can be subject to a product liability lawsuit, all of which our Fort Lauderdale product liability attorneys are familiar with and experienced in. Here’s a quick look at some of the most common defects that result in a lawsuit.

  • Design defects – A product can be deemed harmful or defective when it was manufactured properly according to the specifications, but the design itself is dangerous. To prove that the product design is defective, the injured person must prove that:

(1) the product is unreasonably dangerous,

(2) that it was sold or delivered to them in that dangerous condition,

(3) the product fails to perform safely when used as intended or in a manner that should have been reasonably foreseeable, and

(4) the risk of danger caused by the item is higher than the potential benefit the product could provide. 

  • Manufacturing defects – The product’s design could be safe, but there could have been some sort of flaw in the manufacturing process that leads to the product causing harm. This could be an error on the assembly line that results in every product being dangerous, or it could be a single “hiccup” that caused just one item coming off that assembly line to be dangerous.
  • Marketing defects – This is also commonly referred to as “failure to warn.” Even if the product was designed and manufactured safely, it could still cause harm due to the way it was marketed. For example, the packaging might fail to provide adequate instructions or warning of potential risks associated with using the product either correctly or incorrectly.

Common types of defective products

Household appliances

Improper design, manufacture, or installation of an appliance could cause the product to produce lethally high levels of dangerous chemicals or fumes, present burn hazards, or tip over and crush an unsuspecting person. Common examples are when toasters or dryers catch fire, or when ovens or stoves emit poisonous levels of carbon monoxide.

fort lauderdale product liability appliance

Other common household appliances that can cause severe injury include stoves and ovens. When they’re negligently designed or manufactured, they could easily cause fires or emit potentially deadly fumes of carbon monoxide. Even though manufacturers are expected to include “fail safes” that keep these problems from happening, they will sometimes neglect to do so.

Electronics

There are some instances where an electronic device simply won’t turn off or overheats, eventually igniting a fire or exploding. Defective laptops, cell phones, and pressure cookers can present serious risks to users even when they’ve been used and stored properly.

It’s important to note that any improperly designed or manufactured piece of an electric device can present serious risks to users. For instance, thousands of consumers have been seriously injured by exploding lithium-ion vape batteries.

Food and drink products

No one should ever have to worry about being harmed simply by eating or drinking something, but it happens far too often. Food and drink products can be contaminated due to a quality control failure, such as the food processing plant failing to have proper sanitation practices in place or the product being stored improperly.

In either case, if someone becomes ill due to food poisoning as a result, they will likely have grounds for a product liability lawsuit. Similarly, if there isn’t an adequate warning on the label that the product could contain a common allergen or was manufactured in a place that also manufactures products with common allergens, the manufacturer could be found liable for any resulting injuries.

Vehicles and vehicle parts

Product liability lawsuits that involve cars and other types of vehicles usually fall into one of two categories – defective manufacturing or design. Parts of a vehicle (or the entire vehicle) could be defective due to a manufacturing error or a problem that occurred when the part or vehicle was shipped. An error by the dealership during maintenance could also cause harm to the user.

Some components are simply designed dangerously, regardless of how they were manufactured. A vehicle might not be able to take a sharp turn, even at safe speeds, without rolling over. Tires can be designed defectively and suddenly deflate. Airbags and seat belts can malfunction due to defective design, resulting in severe injuries and deaths.

Machinery and tools

It doesn’t take much imagination to see how a defectively designed or manufactured machine or tool can lead to an injury. But a victim could possibly also take action because there was no warning that using the product could be dangerous.

fort lauderdale product liability machine

Pharmaceutical drugs

When someone turns to a type of medicine, they expect it to help them, not hurt them. A drug could cause harm because it wasn’t tested properly, or it was contaminated during manufacturing. It could pose a risk for a number of other reasons.

Medical devices

In a similar vein, when someone uses a walker, wheelchair, CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device for sleep apnea, or anything else, they assume they won’t be harmed. Unfortunately, many of these devices do just that. Other examples include cardiac devices, breast implants, and several others.

Children’s toys

It’s bad enough when an adult suffers an injury due to a defective product, but when this happens to an innocent child, it’s even worse. Toys can contain harmful chemicals that will result in serious illness if a child puts them in their mouth or ingests it.

Why it’s important to bring a claim for a defective or dangerous product

Taking action in the form of a product liability lawsuit serves two main purposes. The first is that it can provide compensation to help victims recover financially while they recover from the physical injury they’ve suffered.

The second is that victims can force negligent companies to face accountability for the defective products they’ve allowed to enter the marketplace. This could very well help others avoid the same consequences in the future

How to prove liability for product defects

There are many instances where it’s fairly easy to prove that a product is defective. Research could show the product causes harm, or the product could have been the subject of a recall.

Other times, however, proving liability can be very challenging. These kinds of cases require the skill of an experienced Florida product liability attorney. A seasoned attorney will make sure the defective product is preserved so that no chain of custody issues arise. They can also call in expert witnesses who can testify regarding the dangers posed by the product.

Damages you may be entitled to

There are several types of damages that the victim of a defective product may be eligible to recover. Damages can be economic, non-economic, or punitive. Here’s a quick look at each.

(1) Economic damages include medical expenses associated with treating the victim’s injury, as well as lost wages because the victim missed work or can no longer work. An attorney will use medical bills, pay stubs, other documents, and expert testimony to prove economic damages.

(2) What really separates an excellent attorney from the rest is their ability to prove non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, emotional and mental trauma, loss of quality of life, and more. These are subjective damages, ones that don’t lend themselves to simple calculations and require a skilled and experienced attorney.

(3) Punitive damages are designed to punish those responsible for designing, manufacturing, marketing, or selling defective products and serve as a deterrent so that others don’t engage in similar behavior. Punitive damage awards are saved for the most egregious cases and can only be awarded by a jury.

Have you or a loved one been injured from a defective product? Contact our Fort Lauderdale product liability attorney today.

Suppose you choose to work with a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer from Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath. In that case, you’ll be working with an expert who will provide aggressive and effective legal representation.

We’ll strive to prepare a case that will compel those responsible for your suffering to offer a fair, equitable settlement. But if that settlement isn’t forthcoming, we’ll be more than ready to fight for your rights in a court of law.

Let us put our expertise and passion to work for you by contacting us online or by calling (561) 655-1990 for a free case review.

Discover your legal options today.

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