Our product liability attorneys know, when a product fails, the results can often be devastating.
GM’s faulty ignition switches were linked to at least 13 deaths and 31 car accidents, according to GM, but the official numbers are most likely higher. Phillip Morris’ tobacco products have caused numerous illnesses, including lung cancer. Silicone breast implants have ruptured in people’s bodies, resulting in bodily damage and injuries, including scleroderma and even death. The list for defective products hurting consumers goes on and on.
Who’s responsible, though, when you’re hurt due to using a product that’s defective? Who can be held accountable for your injuries? Who can provide you with the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering?
Our product liability attorneys have answers for you. Let’s look at who is liable and whom you might be able to sue when a product injures you.
Liability and the Chain of Distribution
When a defective product causes you injury, it’s important to examine the entire chain of distribution. That is, examine the track every product takes from first being manufactured to finally being distributed to consumers. Doing this can determine who might be liable for your injuries.
Sound complicated? It can be. That’s exactly why it’s so valuable to work with an experienced injury attorney who’s handled these types of cases before.
The first stop is the manufacturer – the company or individual who produces the product. The manufacturer can be held responsible for manufacturing defects. However, there could also be defects in the design or marketing of the product, too. Include those parties if their role contributed to your injury.
Something that’s important to note: there might be more than one manufacturer, as well. For example, if a car with a faulty ignition switch injured you, you could potentially sue both the car manufacturer and the ignition switch manufacturer.
The retailer – the business that sells the product – could also be liable for your injuries if they sold a defective product. Also remember that you don’t necessarily have to be the buyer or the user of the product. If you are injured because someone else bought or used the product, you could still possibly sue the retailer and win your suit.
The wholesaler or distributor – the middleman between manufacturer and retailer – might also be named as a defendant in a product liability claim.
Proving Fault in Product Liability Claims
Now that we know who might be defendants in a product liability lawsuit, let’s look at what you’ll need to prove fault.
Typically when you’re injured, you need to show that the other party was negligent. Not only were they negligent, but their negligence resulted in you getting hurt. But, it can be pretty difficult to pinpoint when and how a business was careless in making their product.
For this reason, the idea of strict liability came about to allow injured consumers to obtain compensation without actually having to show negligence.
You can make a strict liability claim if all three of the following conditions are met:
- The product had an “unreasonably dangerous” defect that caused an injury.
- The defect caused an injury when the product was being used appropriately and how it was intended to be used.
- The product wasn’t substantially changed from its original condition when it was sold.
If a product injured you and you meet all three of these strict liability conditions, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Reach out to an experienced New York product liability attorney to discuss your particular situation and to fight for justice and what you deserve.