Although we often assume that all products we buy are safe and include all the necessary instructions and warnings for their use, defective and dangerous products still make their way onto store shelves and into the hands of consumers, placing them at risk for serious or even fatal injuries.
A person who is injured by a defective or dangerous product may be entitled to pursue a product liability claim against various liable parties, such as manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers. Pursuing a product liability claim against a large corporate manufacturer or retailer means facing significant resistance to liability in the form of legal defenses to product liability.
After you’ve been injured by a defective or dangerous product, reach out to the law firm of Sansone & Lauber today for a free case evaluation with one of our St. Louis product liability lawyers. We’re ready to talk about the compensation you may be entitled to for your injuries and about how having one of our skilled product liability attorneys in your corner can give you the best chance at recovering maximum compensation in your product liability case.
What Is Product Liability?
Product liability refers to the area of law that deals with dangerous and defective products that injure consumers. Parties that bring products to market, including manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers, owe a duty to consumers to ensure that their products do not have a dangerous design or manufacturing defects. Consumers must also be provided with adequate instructions on the product’s safe use and warnings about the risks of injury or death associated with use of the product.
When producers or sellers of products fail to live up to these duties, they can be held liable to compensate consumers who are injured by defective products or by a lack of instruction or warnings about the product’s use.
Examples of Common Kinds of Defective and Dangerous Products
Virtually any manufactured product can end up with a dangerous defect that can injure or kill a consumer. Some products suffer from defects more frequently than others.
Common examples of dangerous and defective products include:
- Defective vehicles or auto parts, including defective tires or brake systems
- Defective workplace machinery or equipment
- Defective construction equipment and tools, such as saws or nail guns
- Dangerous pharmaceuticals, when pharmaceutical companies fail to conduct adequate clinical testing to identify the high risk of certain adverse effects of medication
- Defective medical devices, including replacement knees and hips, artificial meshes, artificial valves, or stents
- Contaminated food and drink products or other consumables such as vitamins
Products can be deemed defective or dangerous in one of three ways in a product liability lawsuit – design defect, manufacturing defect, and failure-to-warn.
A design defect refers to a flaw in the designs or plan of the product, meaning that the defect will be included in every example of the product manufactured or produced.
A manufacturing defect involved a flaw that is incorporated into a product during the assembly or production process. A manufacturing defect may only affect one isolated unit of a product, but more frequently will affect larger production runs of the product, and in rare cases may affect the entire production run of the product.
A manufacturing defect differs from a design defect in that with manufacturing defects, the original design of the product incorporates no flaws and the product would not be incorporated if manufactured or assembled as intended according to the design.
A failure-to-warn (sometimes referred to as a “marketing defect”) involves the failure to provide consumers with adequate instructions as to the product’s safe use or adequate warnings about the risk of injury or death associated with use of the product, such that a consumer is led to use a product in an unsafe manner that causes injury, or is injured by a product that he or she would not have used had he or she been adequately advised as to the risk of injury or death associated with the product.
Potential Compensation in a Defective Product Lawsuit
If you or a loved one have been injured by a defective or dangerous product, you may be entitled to financial compensation in a defective/dangerous product lawsuit for injuries and damages you may have incurred, including:
- Past, ongoing, and future medical expenses, including ER visits hospital stays, surgeries and other medical procedures, doctor’s appointments, prescription medication, and medical or mobility equipment
- Costs of long-term personal care, if your injuries leave you with long-term or permanent disabilities or other difficulties that require you to seek daily or regular assistance or care, such as home health care services
- Lost wages and income for the time that you miss from work while recovering from injuries
- Lost earning capacity or potential, if you cannot return to your old job or any form of gainful employment and suffer a reduction in your earnings
- Loss of enjoyment or quality of life, such as from physical disabilities or disfigurements, inability to participate in activities you once enjoyed, or reduced life expectancy due to your injuries.
- Pain and suffering, or the physical and emotional anguish and distress caused by your injuries
- Loss of consortium, which compensates your spouse for the loss your companionship, love, and society because of your injuries
- Property damage that occurred in the accident, such as if the defective or dangerous product started a fire that both injured you and damaged property
If you can show that the manufacturer or retailer of a dangerous or defect product engaged in egregious conduct – for example, if a manufacturer or retailer knew that a product had a high risk or near-certainty of causing injury or death to consumers but sold the product anyway – you may be entitled to recover punitive damages. These damages do not compensate an injured party for losses but instead are intended to punish the at-fault party for their conduct and to deter others from engaging in similar conduct going forward.
Contact a St. Louis Product Liability Lawyer
When you have suffered injury due to a dangerous or defective product, contact the St. Louis product liability attorneys at Sansone & Lauber today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss the details of your case and to learn more about your legal rights and options for pursuing compensation for your injuries and damages.
Let one of our experienced product liability lawyers discuss how our firm can help you pursue the maximum financial recovery that you need and deserve. We can be reached by calling us or contact us online.