These days, hiring a lawyer is standard for a widespread range of needs. However, one less common, yet just as significant, is hiring a product liability lawyer. At Hershey Law, our attorneys are here to help people get what they deserve. So often, we talk to people that never realized some product defects entitle them to take action. Here, we are looking at three types of defects creating a potential product liability case.
According to the Cornell Law School website, “products liability refers to the liability of any or all parties along the chain of manufacture of any product for damage caused by that product. This includes the manufacturer of component parts (at the top of the chain), an assembling manufacturer, the wholesaler, and the retail store owner (at the bottom of the chain).
Products containing inherent defects that cause harm to consumers (or someone to whom the product was loaned, given, etc.) of the product would be the subjects of products liability suits. While products are generally thought of as tangible personal property, product liability has stretched that definition to include intangibles (i.e., gas), naturals (i.e., pests), real estate, and writings (navigation charts).”
Design defects refer to a flaw within the product design proven dangerous when the consumer utilizes the product for its intended use. For example, let us consider one of the most prominent cases during recent times, the hot coffee case.
McDonald’s was sued, and the plaintiff won millions after she burned herself drinking a hot cup of coffee. The determination was that McDonald’s failed to warn their consumers that their coffee may be significantly hotter than other coffee. Although this is not a ‘design’ failure, it was considered a warning failure that put consumers at risk. Thus, we now have the warning printed on the cups.
After the design of a product, it is moved into production. When a product liability case is at hand and the cause is not related to design, your attorney will then turn to manufacture. A manufacturing defect is often the result of the material in which the product is made. More often than not, poor quality material is chosen to save a few dollars in these cases. However, that same material may put consumers unknowingly at risk.
This category also encompasses chemicals that may be used, incorrect wiring or negligent assembly processes. Airbag recalls and other faulty auto components are some of the biggest culprits in this category.
Although the product is seamless, failure to warn consumers against the latent dangers of misusing a product or not providing proper instructions on use, resulting in marketing defects. One of the largest cases in history was Bullock versus Philip Morris, where Ms. Bullock claimed her tobacco addiction was caused by the company’s failure to warn her of the risks of smoking. As a result, Ms. Bullock developed lung cancer that spread throughout her body. She was awarded $850,000 in compensatory damages and $28 million in punitive damages.
Brennan Hershey is an experienced product liability lawyer in and around the Los Angeles and Southern California region. With experience and proven success, you can have confidence that the team at Hershey Law will fight tooth and nail to get the settlement you deserve.
Please contact our office today to schedule your consultation at (310) 929-2190.