Defective Products Attorney
At its most basic definition, product liability is the concept that anyone involved in the sale or distribution of a product to consumers can be held potentially liable if those products cause harm due to negligence. This often includes manufactures, retailers, and wholesalers who supply or sell products. As a consumer, you expect to be safe while using an item or product that you have purchased. Despite this expectation, safety is not always guaranteed. Dangerous products can be found on any shelf in Indiana and often the danger is the direct result of negligence on the part of the manufacturer. A defective product can lead to irreparable harm.
Three prevalent types of defects include: Design Defects, Manufacturers defects, breach of Warranty, and Improper Labeling or Warning Defect
Design defect of a product-
A design defect is present when a product is improperly or inadequately planned, poses unforeseen hazards, and injury occurs even when the product is used as intended.
Examples of a design defect would be:
-A brand of curling iron that can electrocute the user if it is turned on the high setting
-A model of car where the fuel tank is in a spot that can cause the car to explode if in an accident
-A brand of sunglasses that fail to protect the eyes
In a case such as this the injury itself must have been caused by the proposed design defect. If you believe that the injury you have suffered may be due to design defect, contact Duepner Law today to speak to a qualified product liability attorney.
Manufacturing defect of a product
A manufacturing defect is present when a product has imperfections and flaws outside its design thus making the product more dangerous than a consumer would expect and in turn causing injury.
Examples of a Manufacturing defect would be:
-A batch of formula that contains a foreign or harmful substance
-A bicycle in which the brakes are not installed properly
-A child’s toy that comes with a broken piece.
As with design defects, the manufacturing defect itself must be the cause of the injury. If you wreck your bike that is missing brake pads, you would only have a claim if you can show that the missing brake pads were the cause of the accident itself.
Improper labeling of a product or inadequate instructions or warnings
Injury occurs from either patently false labeling or not providing proper safety instructions. Dangerous products should carry warning labels that not only educate the consumer with regards to the inherent dangers of using the product, but also with basic instructions of what to in case of emergency while using the product.
Examples of Improper Labeling or Inadequate warnings would be:
-A medicine where the labeling does not include a warning that it may cause drowsiness when drowsiness is a frequent side effect.
-A food item that does not warn that the item itself contains a potential allergen such as peanuts.
-A cleaning agent or chemical that is sold without proper instructions for use and safety.
If you have been injured by a product defect or a warning defect you may entitle to compensation. Duepner Law has recently settled a peanut allergy case which provided compensation for medical bills, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering.
Breach of Warranty
Breach of warranty is another claim that falls under the purview of product liability. A warranty is a statement made, either verbally or in writing, by a manufacturer or seller during a transaction. More often than not a warranty claim requires that the consumer, or injured party, and the seller be interacting directly.
The two prominent types of Breach of Warranty claims are:
Breach of express warranty-
This type of warranty is an exact statement or claim about product quality made by a seller at the time of sale and/or advertisement. An express warranty can be a written warranty or simply an oral warranty. An example of an express warranty could be a claim in an advertisement for a watch that it is water resistant up to a depth of 25 feet. A consumer would reason that they could safely submerge the watch at a depth of ten feet. If there is water damage done to the watch at the depth of ten feet, then that would justify a claim of breach of express warranty. The same would apply if a product is guaranteed to work for an express amount of time or it will be replaced. If the product fails within the time frame stated in the warranty, and the manufacturer or seller fails to replace it, then there would be a claim for breach of express warranty.
Breach of implied warranty-
This type of warranty is broken into two parts. The first is breach of implied warranty of merchantability and the second is breach of implied warranty of fitness for a specific purpose.
An implied warranty of merchantability is an unspoken and unwritten guarantee. At its basic definition it means that a good or product is fit for the basic purposes for which it is intended to be used. For example, a screwdriver is able to place and install screws.
An implied warranty of fitness for a specific purpose requires that the seller or merchant possesses or has reason to possess knowledge of a specific purpose for which the product is required and in which the consumer is relying on the seller or merchant to select or recommend an efficient product. For example, if a consumer tells a merchant that they require a tablet capable of storing an express amount of data, and the merchant recommends a particular model, the merchant has entered into an implied warranty of fitness. If the tablet is unable to store the amount of data that was promised, then there is possibly a breach of warranty.
If you believe you may have a claim that involves a breach of warranty of any kind, call Duepner Law so that we can discuss your case and potential options.