There are millions of products sold every day. If you are injured or suffer damages when using one of these products, you and your Pasadena product liability lawyer may be able to sue the manufacturer or other sellers in the distribution chain to recover for your injuries and damages. There are millions of injuries involving products each year involving everything from household items to all-terrain vehicles. If you have been injured by one of these products, consult with a Pasadena injury attorney to discuss your legal options.
Product Injury Statistics
- 107,500 ATV-related, emergency room-treated injuries in the United States in 2011
- 265,000 toy-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2012
- 43,400 emergency room-treated injuries related to the instability of televisions, furniture and appliances between 2008–2010
- 200,000+ children treated in emergency rooms and walk-in clinics each year for playground equipment-related injuries
Rights of Those Injured
Organizations that make and sell products – manufacturers, designers, distributors, wholesalers, and sellers – have a duty to make products safe for consumers. When they fail and this failure results in injury or death, the victims or their families can sue for damages. Consumers aren’t just the product purchasers, they include the product users and the general public – bystanders.
Product liability cases can be brought by a Pasadena product liability lawyer on three general theories of liability: negligence, warranty and strict liability. There are also instances when intentional bad behavior claims can be added to a product liability suit. These usually involve fraud and violations of state unfair competition laws.
Manufacturers and other participants in the distribution chain have a duty to exercise reasonable care to manufacturing, distribute and sell a safe product. A safe product is one that is free from defects. Defects can arise from the design, manufacture, packaging, or labeling of a product. Negligence also includes failure to properly test or inspect the final product before it leaves the manufacturer or failure to attach a proper warning label.
There are two types of warranties; express and implied. Express warranties are created by actions taken by the manufacturer and others in the distribution chain. Implied warranties are created by legislation and the courts and sometimes referred to as “arising by operation of law.”
Express warranties are essentially promises or affirmations of fact that are written or stated such as: instructions included with the product; instructions on the label or packaging; marketing materials at the store where you purchased the product; and other advertising for the product.
Implied warranties are created by legislators and the courts and cover common sense expectation and public policy goals such as requiring products to meet standards such as: merchantability – goods are of average, acceptable quality and are generally fit for the ordinary purpose for which such goods are used; and fitness for a particular purpose – when the seller knows or has reason to know the particular purpose for which the goods are required and the buyer is relying on the seller’s skill and judgment in selecting the goods.
Strict Liability Claims:
A manufacturer, or other participants in the distribution chain, is strictly liable when (1) he knowingly places a defective product on the market that causes injury to a person and (2) knows that the product is likely to be used without inspection for defects. Strict liability is designed to prevent a manufacturer and others in the distribution chain from pushing defective products on unsuspecting consumers.
Fraud & Unfair Competition:
California has laws that create liability for fraud and deceit to prevent manufacturers and sellers from deceiving buyers. The State also has an Unfair Competition Law to create liability for manufacturers and sellers who use deceit, lies and untrue statements in advertising; engage in unfair, deceptive or untrue business practices or acts; or violate other state laws. Many times these intentional acts may lead to liability that includes punitive (punishment) damages in which case a Pasadena product liability lawyer should be contacted.
Common Areas Where Defective Products Cause Harm
If you’ve suffered injuries related to a product, call us now or send us an inquiry form here. The consultation is free. Our Pasadena product liability lawyer can help you assess your case and determine your options. If we take your case, you’ll pay no fees unless you recover.
Filing a Dangerous Product Claim
An experienced product injury lawyer in Pasadena can help you identify all the potentially responsible parties. These are the parties that you would sue for your damages. Generally, they involve organizations and people that manufactured the product to organizations and people that distributed and sold the product. A manufacturer is usually at the beginning of the chain of distribution. If the defective product is one part of a larger product, you would include both the manufacturer of the defective part and the manufacturer of the whole product. If other people and organization were involved in the product design, like consultants and contractors, you would include them. The sellers of the product, like retailers, are also generally included. The entities in between the retailer and manufacture, middlemen like wholesalers and distributors are also included in these suits.
One of the many reasons to identify every potential defendant in your case is the legal doctrine of “joint and several” liability. Under this doctrine, every defendant is liable both together (as part of the group of defendants that caused the harm) and separately (individually) for the entire award of damages. In states that completely follow this doctrine, if one of the defendants in your case is unable to pay up for any reason, the others have to add the deficiency to their share. California uses a modified version of this doctrine, but it is still essential to identify and include every possible defendant in a products liability suit.
Contacting a Product Liability Lawyer
As you can see, product liability claims are complicated. There may be multiple manufacturers and subcontractors involved. Some may even be located outside of the United States. Your injuries or harm may need to be tied to the product and not the result of other activities. We have experienced Pasadena product liability attorneys with extensive experience working with engineers, medical professionals and other experts.
If you have been injured by a defective or dangerous product, we will hold the company responsible for your injuries and get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us immediately so that we can get to work right away, including preserving evidence and starting an independent investigation.