When you buy a new car, you have the right to assume that all the car parts were designed properly, that the parts were made with quality materials, and that the parts will work when you need them to – you know, save your life. You have the same right when you buy medications, electronic products, toys for your children, machinery, and equipment. If the car parts or other products are defective, and the defect contributes to your injuries, you can hold the manufacturers strictly liable. This means you don’t have to prove fault. You can demand compensation for your pain and suffering, your medical expenses, any lost income, and any property damage.
It’s not just the manufacturers who are strictly liable for product defects. The distributors and sellers of the products may also generally be strictly liable. In addition to product liability claims, when products are defective the defendants may be subject to lawsuits for breach of warranty and negligence. In some cases, your product liability claim may be part of a class action lawsuit.
There are three basic types of product liability cases.
Product design flaws
These products are programmed to fail even if the manufacturer uses the best parts. The problem with the product is built into the way the original product was created. Common examples of design defects that have led to product liability cases include:
- Automobile parts such as Takata’s airbags and airbag inflators
- Power tools
- Electrical appliances
- Scaffolds and ladders
- Toys and games
- Flammable clothing
Design defects usually affect the entire product line.
Products that are designed correctly are often found to be defective because the manufacturer decided to cut corners by using substandard parts, poor quality machines, or not hiring the necessary people to construct the product. Poor construction may affect the entire product line but often affects just a part of the product line.
Defective warnings or labeling
Products can be defective if the instructions are wrong or are unclear. Some products require appropriate warnings. For example, many drugs should come with warnings about the risks of using the drugs with other medications. Furniture makers have a duty to warn that some types of furniture may tip over. Most products (or packaging) that are made with plastic should come with warnings that children may choke on the plastic. Cigarettes routinely come with warnings that cigarettes may be dangerous to your health. Many household chemicals require warnings.
At Philbrook Law Office, our Vancouver product liability lawyers work with product safety professionals to help show the product that caused your harm was defective. The professionals focus on showing the defect was due to design flaws, workmanship flaws, or instruction and labeling flaws. We also keep abreast of product recalls of your product. We have 20 years’ experience fighting for clients in and near Vancouver, WA and Battle Ground, WA. You can reach us at 360-205-9615 or fill out our contact form. We handle product liability claims on a contingency fee basis.
Founding Attorney Matthew Philbrook attended Clark College, Washington State University, and Gonzaga University School of Law. He is a member of the Washington State and Oregon State Bar Associations and started Philbrook Law Office in 2005. He specializes in Personal Injury, DUI and Criminal Defense cases. Learn more about Mr. Philbrook.