Product Liability Attorneys Protecting Consumers Across Alabama
We live in a world of mass consumption, so product liability is an area of law that affects us all. Put simply, product liability refers to the legal obligation held by product producers, manufacturers, and sellers to ensure that said products are safe and free of defects.
In some cases, however, a faulty or defective product slips through the net, whether deliberately or via carelessness or negligence. These products have the potential to cause injury or even death to innocent consumers, and the manufacturer or seller must be held liable.
How Can You Prove Product Liability?
In order for a successful product liability case to be brought against a manufacturer, there are specific criteria which must be met:
- The consumer was the intended or foreseeable end-user of the product
- The consumer was injured
- The defect-at-issue caused this injury
- The defendant (manufacturer or supplier) was engaged in the business of selling the product
- The product reached the consumer in its expected condition
If all of these criteria were met and an accident still occurred, you may have a case for personal injury through product liability.
What Action Can Consumers Take?
If you are injured by a faulty or defective product or someone you know is killed by such a product, the law sets out actions that can be taken by victims and their families:
“A ‘product liability action’ means any action brought by a natural person for personal injury, death, or property damage caused by the manufacture, construction, design, formula, preparation, assembly, installation, testing, warnings, instructions, marketing, packaging, or labeling of a manufactured product when such action is based upon (1) negligence, (2) innocent or negligent misrepresentation, (3) the manufacturer’s liability doctrine, (4) the Alabama extended manufacturer’s liability doctrine as it exists or is hereafter construed or modified, (5) breach of any implied warranty, or (6) breach of any oral, express warranty and no other. A product liability action does not include an action for contribution or indemnity.”
In short, a consumer affected by a defective or faulty product will be able to take action against any individual in the supply chain who is deemed to be liable.
What Types of Defects May Occur?
In order to pursue a case, you are required to prove that the product you received or purchased was faulty, defective, and dangerous. Achieving this is largely dependent on the nature of the problem. There are a number of defects which may be present in a product, and these include:
- Defect in Design of the Product: to prove a defect exists in the design, you will be required to prove that there was a reasonable alternate design that the manufacturer could adopt instead of the one they chose to use. A court will need to then decide whether or not this alternate design is reasonable. They will consider the feasibility in terms of manufacturing the new design, the increased safety of your alternative design (if, indeed, it is deemed to be safer), how much it would cost to manufacture to make the alternate, whether aesthetics are impacted, and a range of other factors. When determining a case for defect by design, you will usually be dependent on recognized industry experts’ opinions and testimonies.
- Defect in Manufacturing the Product: proving this type of defect is a little easier, as it relates to the specific, targeted construction of the product in the space, workshop, or factory in which it was created—the design is irrelevant. Here, you are considering working conditions and environments, quality control and checks, employee mishaps, and anything else which could have caused that product or batch of products to be rendered defective.
- A Failure to Warn of Dangers: all products should be designed with an intended use in mind, and providing it is used as per the manufacturer’s recommendations, no accidents or injuries should occur. In the event that there are potential dangers for users, it is the responsibility of the manufacturer or supplier to clearly state these dangers with accessible, clear warnings and instructions. If these warnings are present, the manufacturer is protected from liability. If, however, these indications are not in place, this could be considered a failure to warn consumers of dangers.
What Are Your Next Steps?
If you believe you have a case for product liability, get in touch today. Here at Pharr & Associates Injury Attorneys, our team of lawyers can help you put together a solid case and work to not only achieve the justice you deserve but also gain any composition for financial damages you may have incurred. Why not contact us today by calling (256) 487-6080 and see how we can help.