Product liability law exists to give consumers protection when they purchase goods in the marketplace. Consumers have the right to expect that whatever they buy is safe for its intended purpose, not dangerous and that they will not be harmed. Here are some common situations where product liability law has been used to obtain a legal recovery.
Car Accident Injury
Some car accidents are not caused by weather conditions or drivers. Instead, there could be a detective part on the car or the car itself could fail. For example, the Ford Pinto was known to explode when it was hit from the rear in low-speed collision. This was because of a detective fuel system that Ford knew about for some time. Another example is the airbags manufactures by Takata Corporation featured in many cars that dispersed shrapnel when deployed. In this instance, both Takata and the manufacturer of the car that installed the airbag are potentially liable for injuries.
Side Effects of Medications
While medications are usually hailed as a breakthrough, they have the potential to cause complications to the patients taking them. Sometimes, these side effects go beyond what is on the warning label. When this happens, the drug’s manufacturer can be found liable under product liability law for a number of different things. For starters, this law says that their product must be safe for use and all side effects that they knew or should have known about should be on the warning label. Drugmakers have the obligation to suitably test products before they are placed on the market. If not, they can be held liable.
This naturally occurring substance used in buildings has turned out to be extremely dangerous for those that worked in the buildings. Exposure to asbestos often results in mesothelioma, which is an aggressive form of lung cancer. This has resulted in one of the largest product liability lawsuits in history, and claims continue to be brought today. Asbestos is an inherently defective product based on the harm that it causes. In product liability lawsuits, any entity that has touched the product in the stream of commerce can be held liable. These suits have caused the manufacturers to go bankrupt and lawsuits have also been brought against companies that marketed and sold asbestos as a building product.
While customers enjoy a hot cup of coffee, sometimes there is such a thing as too hot. In this case, a customer suffered severe third-degree burns when a scalding hot cup of coffee spilled on her lap when she was a passenger in a car. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff claimed that the coffee was dangerously hot. Corporate policy dictated that the coffee was served at an unreasonably hot temperature. McDonald’s had faced hundreds of claims brought by customers who suffered injury from burns. In this case, the jury awarded the woman $3 million in damages.
Along with asbestos, cigarettes spurred among the largest product liability lawsuits of all-time. The issue with tobacco was not just that it causes cancer, but cigarette manufacturers knew this for decades and suppressed the information and kept it from purchasers of the product. In general, a company has a duty to warn customers if their product is dangerous. Failure to warn is one of the major reasons that manufacturers are held liable. Billions of dollars of verdicts have been returned by juries against cigarette manufacturers in cases brought by smokers who contracted lung cancer from smoking cigarettes.
If you have been a victim of a defective product, contact our defective product attorneys at the Law Offices of Sadaka Associates.