In the modern world we are surrounded by products that, if defective, can cause considerable harm. Life wasn’t always like this, as a little over a century ago about the only product that could cause someone harm was a busted horse and buggy. But today, with food grown and processed thousands of miles away, tires manufactured across the sea, and medicines designed and mixed in laboratories all around the world, we are surrounded every day by products that can cause substantial harm. In fact, it is estimated that as many as 34 million people are seriously injured or killed worldwide each year as a result of product related accidents.
Products liability actions may be filed against any or all of the parties involved in the chain of manufacturing and selling a product that causes injury—including the component part manufacturer, the assembler, the wholesaler, or a retail store that sells a defective product. Basically, any company that had a hand in the making and selling of a defective product may be liable for injuries a defective product causes you. Also, many states have product liability statues laying out when a company may be liable for a defective product, including Kentucky and Indiana.
In order to prove that a product was defective, an injured person must show that the product had a design defect, a manufacturing defect, or a defect in the marketing of the product. A design defect is a characteristic of a product even before it was built, and that because of the design defect the product was inherently too dangerous and caused injury. A manufacturing defect is something that went wrong in the production and assembly of a product that was never corrected, causing injury to the consumer. Lastly, a marketing defect is when a consumer receives improper instructions or is never warned about the dangers of a product, causing injury.
Typically, a products liability action is a strict liability action, which means that if the product was defective and that defect caused a person’s injury, then the manufacturer or supplier of the product is liable for those injuries regardless of the degree of care they exercised. However, often times if a consumer misuses a product, or does not properly maintain a product, this will cut off a manufacturer or supplier’s liability. This can make a product liability case much more difficult, as an injured plaintiff has to establish (1) that the product was defective and (2) that it was the defect, and not the plaintiff’s own actions, that caused the injury.
Here at the Poppe Law Firm®, we have successfully dealt with product liability actions ranging from tire tread cases to asbestos actions. If you believe you have been injured by a defective product, please contact us online, or give us a call at (502) 895-3400.