Regardless of the standards a business employs to ensure that its products are safe, oversights can occur. The smallest mistake can lead to the deadliest of consequences. The discovery of a defect can, at best, lead to a consumer never buying the product or anything from the manufacturer ever again. The worst possible outcome is a tragic and utterly preventable death caused by the defect.
The challenges presented in filing a personal injury claim involving a defective product begin with identifying the party responsible for the injury or death. Those parties may include:
- Designers and manufacturers
- Wholesalers and retailers
- Sales and marketing firms
Following are some of the most common types of products involved in product liability claims:
Unfortunately, toys meant for entertainment and education are often a source of complicated legal matters. The joy of a child playing with an action figure or “vrooming” a miniature car can turn tragic in mere moments. Small toys or parts of large toys can present choking hazards and other dangers. Parents must be vigilant. Researching product recalls and identifying the appropriate age group for specific toys are only the beginning of ensuring a child’s safety. Product manufacturers and sellers also have an obligation to ensure that toys and other children’s products are safe.
Dangers can hide in what seems to be the most innocuous of household products, which are generally meant to make life easier and more enjoyable, but which too often cause harm. For example, one bad wire in an appliance can result in a catastrophic fire. Product liability cases in this category often involve devices that generate heat, particularly toasters, toaster ovens, frying kettles and hair dryers.
Pharmaceuticals are supposed to be manufactured to help, not harm. However, the risk of a dangerous drug is particularly high for people who need prescription medications or over-the-counter drugs on a daily basis to maintain health or treat ailments. The senior population may be particularly vulnerable to dangerous or defective drugs. Medications can have a variety of side effects that must be communicated to consumers. A drug manufacturer or marketing firm that fails to convey the potentially negative effects of a medication could be held liable for any harm the drug causes.
Tools, furniture and vehicles are also involved in many product liability claims. If you have questions about these matters, please see our overview of options available to victims of dangerous or defective products.