Agoura Hills Products Liability Lawyer
As a consumer, you have the right to be safe whether you are using a car, household product, gym equipment, heavy machinery or any other product. However, sometimes products fail. Unfortunately, manufacturers and distributors sell products that are poorly designed, poorly manufactured, and that pose a deadly risk for consumers around the country.
The seasoned Southern California products liability legal team at the Halpern Law Firm has the experience and knowledge needed to secure justice and compensation for people harmed by dangerous and defective products. Whether your airbag malfunctioned, your gas stove burst into flame, your medication carried undisclosed side effects, or your kids’ toys were secretly dangerous, you have the right to hold those responsible liable and secure financial compensation for the harm you have suffered.
Types of Product Defects
Defective product claims are a subset of personal injury. Plaintiffs have a claim for damages when they can show that a product was defective when put into the market, and that defect caused harm to them or their families. There are three main categories of defective product claims: manufacturing defect; design defect; and inadequate warning. The type of proof required for each type of claim is different.
Design Defect. Some products are defective as designed, meaning that they carry a risk of harm that outweighs the potential benefits. For example, if the designers of an airbag inflation system got their math wrong and the product carries a defect that prevents inflation a significant percentage of the time, then the airbag (and the car in which it is installed) is dangerously defective.
Manufacturing Defect. Even if a product is safe and appropriate as designed, if the product that comes off the conveyor belt is defective as constructed, it can pose a serious danger to consumers. When the manufacturing process introduces an error, such as by failing to assemble the parts of the product properly or by using sub-par materials, the plaintiff may have a claim based on a manufacturing defect.
Often, a defective product claim will turn on the outcome of the “Consumer Expectation Test.” The test helps to identify which type of defective product claim is at play and whether the defendant can be held liable. The test asks:
- Was the product either used as intended or misused in a common way (such that the manufacturer would anticipate the common misuse)?
- Was the product unreasonably dangerous or defective?
- Did that dangerous defect result in harm to the victim?
Inadequate Warning/Defective Marketing. Manufacturers are required to warn consumers about the risks of using a product and must provide instructions for safe use. If the label, instructions, and/or marketing campaign fail to properly warn users about the potential dangers of using the product, the manufacturer or other distributor could be liable for harm that follows. An inadequate warning might include undisclosed side effects of a prescription drug, an undisclosed risk that a particular car part is likely to fail at high temperatures, or any other danger about which the company either knew or should have known about.
Who is Liable in a Products Liability Lawsuit?
There are a number of parties who may be held liable when a consumer product malfunctions and causes injury. Depending upon the circumstances of the injury and the nature of the product, essentially anyone in the chain of distribution might be held liable (in many cases, one party will be sued and that defendant will add another responsible party to the lawsuit in order to point the finger at them). A savvy defective products lawyer at the Halpern Law Firm can help you identify any and all parties who may be held responsible for your damages, including:
- The manufacturer of the overall product (g., the automaker)
- The manufacturer of a specific part (g., the airbag manufacturer)
- The independent testing laboratory
- The distributor
- The sales representative
- The retail store
- A hospital, clinic, doctor, or pharmacist
Recover the Compensation You Are Owed After a Defective Product Injury
If you’ve been hurt by a defective product, you could be entitled to a variety of damages including compensation for past and future medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. If the company knew about the danger and deliberately hid the problem, you might be entitled to punitive damages, which are intended to punish particularly wrongful conduct.
If you or a loved one was injured as a result of a defective product, you could have a substantial claim for damages. Call the passionate products liability attorneys at the Halpern Law firm at (818) 785-5999 today for a free consultation. We fight for the compensation you and your family deserve. We take defective product cases on a contingency basis, which means that we only get paid after we win for you.