When you buy an item, you have the right to expect that it is reasonably safe for its intended purpose. Unfortunately, there are products that cause serious harm to consumers. Some companies are more concerned with profits than consumer safety, and the result may be permanent injuries or even death. Products liability is an area of the law that may allow you to hold a manufacturer responsible. At the Dean Law Firm, our injury lawyers can help consumers in Ocala and the surrounding communities pursue compensation after being hurt by a defective product.Taking Legal Action against a Manufacturer
If you are hurt by a faulty device, an expert will need to testify as to what type of product defect was responsible. There are three types: manufacturing defects, design defects, and failures to warn (also known as marketing defects). Manufacturing defects are mistakes or unintended problems with a product that occur during the manufacturing process. Often, they are found only in one or a couple of products in a line. For example, if the brake in your car was deformed by excessive heat during manufacturing, and you get into an accident because you cannot brake, the component manufacturer could potentially be held responsible.
Design defects are problems in the design of a product and are found in all samples of a particular product line. For example, if your baby's car seat was designed so that he or she is not securely restrained in case of an accident, you might be able to sue the manufacturer for a design defect.
Failure to warn or marketing defects are problems with how the product is sold, such as inadequate instructions or warnings. For example, if your child's toy when used properly could hit the child in the eye and blind him or her, this might be a failure to warn.
There are also three theories that can be used in product liability cases: negligence, strict liability, and breach of warranty. For a negligence claim, you would need to show that the manufacturer had a duty to use reasonable care in manufacturing or designing the product and breached that duty, causing you injuries and damages. You can show a breach of duty by proving a manufacturer knew or should have known that a product was defective.
Under a theory of strict liability, all that a plaintiff must prove is that there was a defect in the product and an injury resulted. It does not matter whether the manufacturer used reasonable care in either designing or building the item. A product must have been purchased within the chain of distribution for strict liability and cannot be second-hand in order for this theory to apply.
There are two types of breach of warranty: breach of implied warranty and breach of express warranty. A warranty is a representation by the manufacturer or retailer about the produce and how safe it is. For example, if you ask a sales representative for a special tool with a safety guard and he recommends a tool that has no safety guard, this could be a breach of express warranty. However, if you buy a toy for toddlers, it comes with an implied warranty that it is safe, and if it is covered in toxic paint, for example, this is a breach of implied warranty.Seek Guidance from a Product Liability Lawyer in Ocala
Suing a manufacturer for a defective item may be challenging. Many companies spend millions developing a product, and a claim that it is defective or caused harm can ruin the company's reputation. This means that manufacturers provide an aggressive defense when sued for product liability. The injury attorneys at the Dean Law Firm can guide individuals in the Ocala area through the process of bringing these claims. Call us at 352-387-8700 or contact us via our online form. We represent accident victims in Crystal River, The Villages, and other Florida communities, including in Lake, Citrus, Marion, Sumter, and Levy Counties.