Whenever someone plays any role in the manufacturing or sales process that results in you buying a product, they take on a legal duty to you. Not only must the product live up to all its warranties, but it also must be reasonably safe for its intended use. If you have suffered an injury from a defective product, you may be legally entitled to significant financial compensation.
Potential Defendants in a Product Liability Lawsuit
In a product liability case, the universe of defendants is large. Anyone who was involved in the “stream of commerce” is potentially liable to you in a lawsuit, including:
- The company that made the product
- The seller
In these cases, the defendant will be strictly liable if you can show that the product was defective. Strict liability means that the defendant must pay, regardless of whether they were negligent, unless they have one of a very limited number of defenses.
Three Kinds of Common Product Defects
There are three primary types of product defects:
- Design defect: There is an inherent defect in the design that makes the product unreasonably dangerous for the user, and the benefits of the design do not outweigh the risks. An example would be machinery that does not have safety guards in place to provide adequate protection to your hands or eyes.
- Manufacturing defect: The product can be defective when there is nothing wrong with the design, but something causes it to depart from the specifications in the manufacturing process. An example is when a truck loses a tire because it is not securely bolted down.
- Marketing defect: The manufacturer has an obligation to warn about dangers that they knew or should have known about. An example of a marketing defect is a sleep apnea machine maker that knows that foam can disintegrate but does not share that fact with the general public.
In addition, you can win your product liability case if you can prove the following:
- The seller was negligent in designing or making the product.
- The seller violated one of a number of express or implied warranties that come with a product.
- The seller violated one of California’s many consumer protection laws in making or selling the product.
How Defendants Fight Product Liability Lawsuits
Product liability lawsuits are high-stakes affairs for both you and the company. If you have suffered an injury from a defective product, chances are you were not the only one. The company may face scores of lawsuits, with hundreds or millions of dollars of potential liability.
There is a compelling reason why these companies fight. The median product liability jury award is nearly $4 million. Even plaintiffs who settle their case can receive large settlements. Usually, once companies lose the initial product liability trials (or it looks like they will lose), they enter into global settlements where they set aside large amounts of money to pay claims. You still need to show your entitlement to the money and effectively present your case in a way that shows your damages.
Product liability cases are scientifically and technically complex. You have the burden of proof to show how the product was defective. The main part of your case is expert witnesses, who will analyze the actual product and the design and give their opinion.
Our experienced attorneys in Santa Clarita work with experts and argue to the court why they have the experience and knowledge to provide the relevant testimony.
Contact a Santa Clarita Product Liability Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury from a defective product, you can and should take strong legal action. One Law Group has experienced product liability lawyers in Santa Clarita who are not afraid to hold large companies accountable for their misdeeds and mistakes. To learn more about how we can help you, call us today at (844) 626-1529 or send us a message online.
Product Liability FAQs
Do I need to hire a product liability attorney?
Given the highly technical nature of these cases and the defendants’ high-priced legal teams, it is virtually impossible to win these cases on your own.
What if my loved one was killed by the defective product?
Your family can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturer.
Will I automatically win if I prove the product was defective?
Not necessarily. There are still some defenses to strict liability that the manufacturer may use.