Back in 1982, three unrelated people living in the Chicago area purchased three different bottles of Tylenol at separate retail stores. Sometime after arriving back home, they opened the bottles, dropped a couple of tablets into the palms of their hands, proceeded to ingest them with a glass of water. Within minutes of swallowing the capsules, all three dropped dead. As it turned out, the Tylenol capsules were laced with cyanide.
More people would die and much of the USA went into panic mode. Would they be the next to die every time they swallow a pill to alleviate a headache? Just taking a simple painkiller became a courageous act.
Needless to say, the makers of Tylenol were sued over their defective product by the victim’s families and nine years later, a generous undisclosed sum was granted by the courts. Which is why today, medication is sealed so securely, it is virtually tamper-proof. The companies do this not out of concern for their customers, but so they don’t get sued for defective product liability.
Not all defective liability claims come about due to a possible attempted murder, as in the Tylenol case (murder was never proven). That said, defective products result in thousands of injuries and deaths on an annual basis.
According to HG.org, defective product liability refers to the manufacturer, company, or retailer being held liable for both the sale and distribution of a defective and potentially deadly product.
If a product contains an inherent defect, such as a car with defective brakes, and that product causes physical harm to the purchaser in the form of an auto accident, the manufacturer must financially compensate the victim. Or so says the liability law.
What it comes down to is this: if you are injured by a product you’ve purchased, you have the right to hire a personal injury lawyer like James McKiernan Lawyers (you can find out more about them here: https://www.jamesmckiernanlawyers.com/). Such lawyers are experts in defective product liability law and will work endless hours to bring you and/or your loved ones the settlement you deserve.
But just what are the most common kinds of defective product liability claims? Says HG.org, they typically fall into these three categories:
Defective Product Liability for Poorly Manufactured Products
Considered the most common type of defective product liability claim, it is filed when an injury or death happens due to a product malfunction occurring during the manufacturing process.
Some examples of defective manufacturing can be a bad batch of cough medicine that contains a harmful substance, a car or truck equipped with bad tires, and a bicycle with a weak frame.
In order to prove a case of defective product liability, the injury or death has to have been caused directly by a defect in the manufacturing process. For example, if you’re driving at a high speed and a tire blows out causing your car to flip, it’s entirely possible that the manufacturing process, and not outright neglect, was the cause of your accident and resulting injuries.
Defective Product Liability for Defectively Designed Goods
Cases of defective product liability due to a product’s defective design are also common. Unlike a problem in the manufacturing process which can be limited to just a relatively few products that come off the assembly line, defective design can affect an entire generation of goods, even if that generation was strictly manufactured according to design specifications.
Some examples of defective product designs are a jetliner with a poorly designed computer software system that causes stalls on takeoff, cars, or trucks with air-bags not thick enough to protect the passenger during a collision, and even a line of electric hair dryers that can cause electrocution.
In these defective product liability cases, it must be proven that injury or death occurred as a direct result of faulty design. In other words, if it’s determined your plane crashed due to a poorly designed computer software issue, a settlement must be granted.
Defective Product Liability for Failure-to-Warn
The third category of defective product liability cases involves products that fail to provide proper warnings in their user instructions. If a product is potentially hazardous and the consumer is unaware of it because of inadequate or poorly detailed instructions, serious injury and/or death can occur.
Failure-to-warn examples include a label not printed on an over-the-counter medicine regarding harmful side effects that might occur when combined with alcohol or other medications, a cell phone that comes without printed warnings about possible brain tumors from overuse, or a pressure cooker that’s missing a printed warning about the chance of explosion if improperly maintained.
In these defective product liability cases, it must be proven that an injury, disease, or death was caused due to a manufacturer’s failure-to-warn. For instance, if a person loses a limb or dies as a result of a pressure cooker explosion, you might have a case of failure-to-warn should the product not have been provided with a set of printed cautionary instructions and/or labels.
Serious injuries and deaths caused by defective products are all too common. If you should find yourself injured by a product defect or a failure-to-warn, don’t let it slide because you don’t want to go through the hassle of a lawsuit. Contact a highly respected personal injury law firm like the one mentioned above, that will fight on your behalf. You deserve what’s coming to you.