If a product you used caused injury or illness, you may be able to file a defective product liability claim. The injury itself isn’t enough to justify a claim. For example, if you trip over a space heater in your bedroom and are subsequently injured in a slip and fall accident, suing the space heater’s manufacturer isn’t likely to produce results. However, if you are injured when your new space heater catches fire for no apparent reason, it’s a different story. Unless you misused the product, the fire may have been caused by a product defect.
The Elements of a Defective Product Liability Claim
Three main elements must be present for a successful defective product liability claim. These are:
- An injury or financial loss occurred.
- There is a defect in the product.
- Your injury was caused by the defect.
- You were not misusing the product when the injury occurred.
Keep in mind, you must have actually suffered a loss. If a defective product caused you to slip and fall, but you weren’t injured and no property damage occurred, there’s not much point to filing any type of injury claim. A Boston injury attorney can help you determine if you should file a defective product liability claim for your injuries.
Design Defect or Manufacturing Defect?
If the product was designed correctly but an error occurred during the manufacturing process, the claim is generally easier to prove than if the product was manufactured correctly but the design was flawed.
Olympus Duodenoscope Design Defect
A good example of a product with a serious design defect is the Olympus duodenoscope. This medical product was redesigned in 2010 to keep infectious material from entering the scope. Unfortunately, the new design, which involved closing off a narrow internal channel, actually allowed dangerous bacteria to remain in the product after cleaning. As a result, multiple superbug outbreaks occurred in hospitals throughout the country, and many people were seriously injured or died. Working with a skilled MA injury lawyer is crucial to a positive outcome in cases involving any type of product liability claim.
Determining whether a product is defective is not always an easy task. In some cases, the answer is clear. But proving that a product is unreasonably dangerous can be a complex process. Take airbags, for example. Airbags can cause injuries when they deploy, but most of these injuries are considered to be “reasonable” when you take into account their potential for saving lives. However, not all airbag injuries are reasonable. Takata airbags caused multiple injuries and deaths when a defective inflator caused airbags to explode with too much force, hurling metal debris at vehicle occupants. In fact, Takata was just ordered to pay $1 billion in criminal penalties after pleading guilty to wire fraud related to this ongoing case.
Did the Manufacturer Fail to Warn You of a Hazard?
If you can show that the defect was not obvious to an ordinary customer, you will have a better chance at winning your defective product liability claim. If the product had bright red warning stickers on it, you removed them, and got injured doing what the stickers warned you not to do, your chances of a successful claim are limited. If, however, the manufacturer failed to warn you about an inherent danger, you may have a solid case.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Defective Product Liability Lawyers Serving All of MA
If you have been injured due to a defective or dangerous product, the legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of accident and injury victims for more than 50 years. If you’ve been harmed, you may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages. Don’t go through this alone. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.