Product Liability Attorney
Manufacturers and sellers have a responsibility to ensure that their products are safe for use by consumers. If you have been injured by a defective product, call (888) 607-8690 to speak to the Bethesda product liability lawyer at Malloy Law Offices, LLC in Bethesda, MD today. You may have a product liability claim for compensation.
Why Choose Malloy Law Offices, LLC?
- We speak Spanish and Russian in addition to English.
- Our Bethesda personal injury lawyers place high importance on helping our clients reach their goals. Our attorneys and staff strive to make a difference in your life through excellent, personalized service, strong legal knowledge, and hard work.
- We have more than 15 years of experience and a thorough understanding of how to handle product liability claims.
What Is Product Liability?
Product liability is the legal liability that a product manufacturer or seller incurs for producing or selling a defective product. Under product liability laws, manufacturers and sellers may be held accountable for placing faulty products into the hands of consumers. Responsibility for injuries caused by a defective product lies with the manufacturer and all sellers of the product in the distribution chain. A product with an unexpected danger or defect fails to meet the ordinary expectations of consumers.
Examples of Dangerous or Defective Products
Defective and dangerous products cause thousands of injuries to consumers every year in the U.S. Examples of defective products that may cause injury include:
- Defective motor vehicles
- Defective vehicle parts
- Defective medical devices
- Dangerous pharmaceutical drugs
- Defective firearms
- Dangerous children’s toys and products
Why You Need a Product Liability Lawyer in Bethesda
As a consumer, you have a high level of trust that the product you are purchasing is safe, works properly, and will last a set amount of time. When these products fail or are harmful, however, it can not only shake your faith in the manufacturing company or the business it was purchased from but also cause serious harm to you or those around you, including wrongful death. If you or a loved one were harmed as the result of a defective product, contact a highly skilled product liability lawyer as soon as possible. A Bethesda product liability attorney will be able to go over the facts of your case and determine what damages to pursue so that you receive the best outcome possible.
Defective Product Requirements
According to the law, a product may be considered defective in one of three ways:
- Manufacture: Manufacturing defects occur in the course of producing or assembling the product.
- Design: This type of defect is present in the product from the beginning before it is manufactured or assembled. Design flaws can make products inherently unsafe.
- Marketing: Improper labeling and failure to include adequate warnings or instructions fall into the category of marketing defects.
In order to prove product liability, the plaintiff must both allege and prove that the product was defective at the time it left the possession of the seller, that it was reasonably dangerous to the consumer (the plaintiff), that the product had reached the plaintiff without significant change to its condition after leaving the seller, and that the defective product was the proximate (or direct) cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
Products that are Unavoidably Unsafe
Some products, by their very nature, cannot be made safer for consumers without sacrificing their usefulness. For example, products containing bleach would not clean, whiten, and brighten without this toxic substance. A carving knife that was too dull to cut anyone would not be useful for slicing meat. Such a product is unavoidably unsafe, and consumers are best equipped to minimize the risk of using it. While this type of product may not be considered unreasonably dangerous, manufacturers and suppliers still must provide adequate warnings of the risks and dangers so consumers can make informed choices.
Product Liability Types
There are two kinds of product liability a person could sue for. Strict liability is the most common, and the most easily applied type. Negligence is more difficult to prove, and thus less commonly used in product liability cases.
Strict liability is most commonly applied to product liability. Through strict liability, the plaintiff is able to avoid needing to prove that the defendant, in this case, the manufacturer or seller of the defective product; instead, the focus is on the product itself. This takes away the possible defense strategy of contributory negligence, which under the law means that if the plaintiff was even one percent liable for their injury, they would be completely barred from recovery. Instead, with the focus being on the product and determining whether it can be deemed defective, the plaintiff is less likely to be barred from recovery and can pursue damages related to their injury.
When referring to a product liability case, negligence may include negligent design or manufacture of a product, the failure to warn of dangerous qualities, or even failure to provide adequate instructions for safe usage. If the product is determined to be obviously defective or damaged in some way, however, there is no cause of action as it is assumed that the plaintiff should have seen or otherwise been aware of the defect, yet they proceeded to use it anyway. If a client is to pursue a negligence product liability claim, they must prove the five following criteria:
- The design of the product was defective or malfunctioned
- The materials used contributed to the final product’s defectiveness or malfunction
- The production process was not maintained in a manner that would prevent or preclude any products from being manufactured in a defective manner
- Assembly and testing of the product was such that it led to the product being defective or did not detect its defects
- There were inadequate warnings, labels, directions, or other materials as to proper use and maintenance of the product, which led to customers being unaware of the risk of harm that would be associated with using a defective product, or that led to the customer’s injury due to misuse
A skilled product liability attorney will be able to review the facts of the case, speak with investigators, and request manufacturing information so they can determine whether these five criteria had been met.
Breach of Warranty
A consumer warranty is a guarantee made by the manufacturer or seller of a product assuring a certain level of reliability and quality. Virtually every new product purchase is covered by a warranty, whether it is implied, explained at the time of purchase, or offered as an extended warranty for a fee. A product liability claim may be based on breach of warranty for the sale of a product.
Who is Liable in Product Liability Cases?
Regarding liability, anybody who was involved in the chain of production, sale, or distribution of the defective product can be held liable, including “middlemen” or third-party sellers. Because placing a dangerous or defective product on the market is in itself considered a negligent act, anyone involved in the process of getting that product into the plaintiff’s possession may have liability imposed on them.
Potentially liable parties for injuries caused by defective products may include:
- Product manufacturer
- Manufacturer of component parts of a product
- The party that assembles or installs the product
- Wholesalers and middlemen
- The retailer that sold the product to the consumer
In a product liability case, the plaintiff will most often sue for compensatory damages. These damages include pain and suffering, loss of income, loss of consortium, and any medical bills that were accrued, among others. Punitive damages, which are damages awarded at an incredibly high amount in order to deter other entities from the same behavior, may be awarded, but only rarely, and only if the plaintiff can prove that the manufacturer acted with malice, “evil motive, intent to injure, ill will” or with the intent to defraud. In this case, the defendant knew the product was defective, and deliberately ignored the potential harm to consumers it could cause.
Contact a Bethesda Product Liability Lawyer
Don’t struggle alone with a product liability case. Having a highly talented product liability lawyer by your side throughout the entire process will greatly ease the burden on your shoulders so that you or your loved one can focus on recovery. A product liability attorney in Bethesda will fight for you nonstop so that you can receive the best outcome possible in your product liability case. Contact Malloy Law Offices, LLC today for your free consultation.