Millions of Americans are injured by consumer products each year. Companies and manufacturers have an obligation to ensure that the products they put on the market are safe and designed without defects. Products that have the potential to be a safety hazard should have labels that list the dangers associated with their use.
When someone is injured by a defective product, retaining an experienced product liability attorney is of the utmost importance. Many times, consumers are injured by products that are manufactured by large corporations. Taking action against these companies can be an intimidating process, especially when injured people are still healing and getting back on their feet. Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA can assist you in creating an effective plan of action to tackle the investigative-based litigation involving defective products.
Product Liability Claims
Product liability claims cover a broad range of items. Some of the most common defective product cases involve the following:
- Automotive defects
- Airbag failure
- Infant and child safety seats
- Construction equipment
- Household appliances
- Medical devices
- Food and drink products
- Children’s toys
There are three types of product liability claims: manufacturing defect, design defect or a failure to warn. Manufacturing defects exist where a product is assembled defectively, and therefore, it did not perform as it was intended to. A company can be held liable for a manufacturing defect regardless of who is fault. Design defects occur when a flaw in the design of a product causes injury. In this type of case, a product’s risk for causing injury must be weighed against the cost and utility of making it. The product then must be compared to the costs and risks of an alternative design. Failure to warn defects exist where it is reasonably foreseeable that use of a product can cause non-obvious danger or where there are latent dangers from unintended use of a product.
Defective Product Causes of Action
There are three different theories by which an injured consumer can pursue a product liability claim:
- Strict Liability
- Breach of warranty
To succeed in a defective product suit on a negligence theory, the injured consumer must prove four factors. He or she must prove that:
- The manufacturer of the product had a duty to manufacture or design a product that was safe for use;
- The manufacturer of the product breached that duty;
- The breach was the proximate cause of the consumer’s injury; and
- The injured consumer suffered damages as a result.
Strict liability causes of action do not require that the injured consumer prove that the defendant was negligent. Even if a manufacturer or supplier proves that they exercised reasonable and appropriate care in the making of a product, they can still be found liable for damages. The injured consumer has to prove:
- A defect in the product caused the injury;
- The injured consumer was using the product in the manner with which it was intended to be used; and
- There was no substantial change in the product between the time it was manufactured and the time it reached the consumer.
An injured consumer may bring a breach of warranty claim by proving that the seller made promises about a product and failed to provide an appropriate remedy for it. A valid breach of warranty may exist where a company fails to comply with the terms of the warranty coverage. There are two types of warranties: express warranties and implied warranties. An express warranty is a promise or guarantee that a seller or manufacturer explicitly states. These are usually written statements that make a claim that no injuries will occur if a product is used properly. An implied warranty is the reasonable assumption that a product sold is safe for use and that the consumer will use the product as intended.
Florida Statute of Limitations for Product Liability
The statute of limitations for product liability claims in the State of Florida is four years from the date of the injury. There are some cases where an injury from a product is not easily detectable so that an injured consumer does not discover the injury for months or years after initially using the product. Thus, the statute of limitations will begin to run from the time the injury should have been discovered or was discovered. Nevertheless, Florida enacted a statute of repose which states that injured consumers must file their claims within twelve years after the products were first delivered to them. If this is not followed, the case will be dismissed.
Miami Product Liability Attorney
If you or someone you love has been injured by a defective product, do not wait any longer to take action. Pursuing a products liability claim is time-consuming and can be confusing, so it is important to retain a skilled defective product attorney to achieve the best possible results for your case. For a free consultation regarding your defective product injury, call Prosper Shaked at (305) 694-2676.