Boca Raton Products Liability Attorney
Every day, thousands of products pour into Florida from around the globe. People use products every day of the week, from motor vehicles to kitchen appliances, furniture, and children’s toys. We naturally presume that products will work as expected, have undergone adequate testing, and are designed and manufactured safely.
Unfortunately, many products on the market have dangerous defects that can and do cause injury or death. Some products make their way to consumers despite failing to conform to government safety regulations. Each year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issue numerous recalls due to defects in consumer products and motor vehicles that raise safety concerns.
Typically, in the interests of profits, product designers, manufacturers, and distributors are hesitant to voluntarily recall products and acknowledge safety concerns. For these reasons, the consuming public too often learns of dangerous defects in products used daily only after people have suffered harm.
If you or a loved one was hurt by a potentially dangerous product, whether it be a car, kitchen appliance, helmet, children’s toy, or other consumer products, contact Hersh Kirtman Injury Law today. Our Boca Raton products liability attorney can jump in and investigate whether you have a viable claim for compensation. Contacting us is critical not only to allow us to pursue a claim on your behalf, but also because your pursuing a claim may help prevent similar harm being suffered by others from the same product.
Types of Product Defects
Florida law requires that consumer products and motor vehicles be designed and made reasonably safe. When they are not, those who are injured as a result may pursue a claim for compensation.
Florida law recognizes three primary types of defects which can render a product dangerous:
- Design defects:
Design defects are the most common form of defect at issue in product liability cases. A design defect stems from a flaw in the design of the product that renders the product unreasonably dangerous. A design defect impacts the entire product line. Florida’s standard strict liability product defect jury instruction states: “A product is unreasonably dangerous because of its design if the product fails to perform as safely as an ordinary consumer would expect when used as intended or when used in a manner reasonably foreseeable by the manufacturer or the risk of danger in the design outweighs the benefits.”
Examples include a stool designed with legs that are too close together, rendering it unstable, a children’s toy designed with small parts that present a choking hazard, or a car designed with an airbag system that fails to deploy in head on collisions.
- Manufacturing defects:
Even when a product is designed correctly and safely, if the product is made or manufactured differently than as designed, rendering it dangerous or unsafe, there is a manufacturing defect. Errors in the manufacturing of a product may impact only a single item or an entire production line. Florida’s standard strict liability product defect jury instruction states: “A product is unreasonably dangerous because of a manufacturing defect if it is different from its intended design and fails to perform as safely as the intended designed would have performed.”
Manufacturing defects may result from the manufacturer failing to follow the design, using substandard materials, installing incorrectly sized parts, or failing to make the product with all necessary parts, among other things.
- Failure to warn:
When products do not have adequate labeling warning of potential dangers or hazards, the product may be deemed unreasonably dangerous for failing to provide adequate warnings. Florida’s string liability product defect jury instructions state: “A product is defective when the foreseeable risks of harm from the product could have been reduced or avoided by providing reasonable instructions or warnings, and the failure to provide those instructions or warnings make the product unreasonably dangerous. Florida also recognizes product liability claims relating to express and implied warranties.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for Product Liability
Pursuing a claim for product liability requires an investigation into and analysis of all people and companies who may be held responsible. Florida law holds every company in the chain of distribution of a given product responsible for product liability. Therefore, if you or a loved one are harmed by a dangerous product, your claim may include the designer, manufacturer, distributor, importer, retailer, and any other seller in the business of selling the product.
Allowable Product Liability Claims
Florida law allows people who are harmed by a manufacturing defect, design defect, or failure to warn defect to bring both strict liability and negligence claims for the product liability. A negligence claim looks to whether the designer, manufacturer, seller, or other defendant company used reasonable care, which is defined as that care that a reasonably careful designer, manufacturer, seller, importer, distributor, or supplier would use under similar or like circumstances. Even if the defendant designer, manufacturer, or seller, used all reasonable care, and was not negligent, they still may be held responsible under the theory of strict liability. Florida’s strict liability product defect law provides that regardless of reasonable care, if a defect is unreasonably dangerous based on a design defect, a manufacturing defect, or a failure to warn defect, the designer, manufacturer, and every company down the chain of distribution are strictly liable, and therefore responsible, for any harm that results.
We Can Help You Protect Your Claim and Pursue Compensation
Often, our clients aren’t entirely sure what is wrong with the product. All they know is they have been injured. That’s perfectly okay.
Product liability claims are complex. They generally involve numerous experts, all of whom aim to determine the nature of the defect in the product. To do so, the product itself must be evaluated. So, remember to hold onto the product (or what remains of it) so that we can inspect it. People often get rid of the product thinking they will never use it again. Getting rid of the product though may result in you having gotten rid of your ability to pursue a case. Always hold on to the product and make no changes or alterations to it. It is likely to be the most important evidence in your case.
When dangerous products injure consumers, designers, manufacturers, and sellers should be held accountable for the harms they cause. This is important to protect and care for those who have been injured and it is also crucial to making sure the same product does not continue to harm others in the future.
In product liability claims, our clients pursue compensation for, among other things:
- Medical care to treat injuries
- Lost wages when they cannot work due to injury
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
To build a strong case, our legal team will review all evidence and consult with experts, if necessary, to identify if there was a defect. In some instances, we pursue punitive damages, especially when a manufacturer, designer, or seller conceals a defect or knows of a defect and takes not action to protect the consuming public. Manufacturers regularly resist settling these cases and they fight hard to defend themselves against these claims. We can help you obtain information from these companies, often against their will, needed to prove your case. In some situations, class actions involving large numbers of people who were similarly harmed by a product are ongoing and your case my fall into that class We will discuss the best course of action with you depending on the facts of your case.
Contact a Boca Raton Products Liability Lawyer Today
Hazardous products injure many people each year. We can hold manufacturers, designers, sellers, and others down the chain of distribution accountable when they put dangerous products in the hands of consumers and on our roadways. We’ve achieved remarkable success doing so. Call Hersh Kirtman Injury Law today to schedule a free consultation.