Each year, many devastating injuries and deaths occur because of dangerous or poorly designed products and equipment. While some of the more highly publicized cases involve automobiles, especially Sports Utility Vehicles, and infant car seats, the types of products involved cover a wide spectrum and include both consumer and industrial products. And, “product liability” injuries and fatalities occur everywhere — on the road, on the job, even in the home — and no one, from the elderly to the youngest infant, is immune from unknown and potential dangers caused by even the most commonly used product. Product liability cases mainly fall into the following categories:
Defective product cases wind their way through the legal system usually through one or more theories of product defect. One theory is the “defective design” case, where someone has been hurt or killed due to a flaw in the design of a product. In others, there may be allegations that a manufacturer “failed to warn” about a product’s particular dangerous propensity to cause an injury. Of course, many cases contain both theories depending on the facts unique to the product or injury. Likewise, if the product has component parts that may have caused or contributed to the injury, there could be any number of defendants. While liability or blame usually lies with the manufacturer of a defective product, other likely defendants may include sellers and distributors, who may be liable for:
Regardless of the theory or number of defendants, these cases are complex and often require the assistance of an attorney to gain a thorough understanding of the many issues in such a case. Just becoming “familiar” with the product involved and how, or why, it failed is not enough. These cases demand precise, detailed investigations not just surrounding the product’s failure, but to determine how the defect caused the particular injury. While every lawsuit has certain elements that must be met, in the product liability case, whether a case succeeds or even gets to the trial stage often hinges on the ability to prove that, more likely than not, the injury or death was caused by the specific defect.
For this reason, expert witnesses with specialized training and knowledge about certain products are often hired to provide opinion testimony about the defect as well as the injury. Expert witnesses are very expensive, but necessary, as is the investment of both time and money required when taking on a products case. However, for the product liability case with a successful outcome, the investment is certainly worth it, for there is nothing that can compare to the satisfaction of getting fair compensation for victims or survivors of dangerous and defective products and removing those items from stores, away from our children, and off the streets.
Contact an experienced St. Louis product liability lawyer at our firm today.