Products Liability Attorney
Products Liability Lawyers in Mississippi
According to Public Citizen—and contrary to public opinion—there has been no “explosion” in the number of products liability lawsuits—in fact, products liability suits comprise only about 40,000 of the 19.7 million civil cases filed annually in state trial courts. Another fact that most citizens are unaware of, is that a full 90 percent of wrongfully injured people never file a lawsuit. This should certainly put some perspective on the stereotype of frivolous products liability claims. Unfortunately, far too many people are injured—often seriously injured—every single day by a defective or dangerous product, drug or medical device. When this occurs, manufacturers must be held accountable. Overall, injuries related to defective automobile and drug and medical device injuries, as well as infant injuries related to product defects, are the most common type of products liability claims. Some examples of defective products include the following:
- Items containing asbestos;
- Dangerous drugs;
- Medical devices with flawed designs;
- Children’s sleep apparel which is not fire-resistant;
- Shoes and boots advertised as “non-slip” which do not live up to the claim;
- Faulty tools or machinery;
- Defective automobile parts (such as Takata airbags, dangerous fuel tanks, and faulty ignition switches, or
- Dangerous toys.
What Are Different Types of Product Defects?
When a products liability claim is filed, the injured person must be able to prove the product responsible for those injuries was defective, and that the defect made the product unreasonably dangerous. There are many different types of product defects such as:
- Marketing defects are flaws in the marketing of a product. These flaws can include insufficient instructions to the consumer, inadequate safety warnings or improper labeling. Failure-to-warn claims involve a product which is dangerous in a way that is not obvious to the user. Examples of failure-to-warn claims might include a baby stroller which doesn’t state it can collapse with the baby inside, a coffee maker which doesn’t warn users of the potential for burns or a cough syrup which does not warn of dangerous side effects when taken with another drug.
- Design defects are present from the beginning before the product is manufactured. When an issue with the design which makes the product inherently dangerous exists, then a design defect is present. The DePuy ASR metal hip lawsuits and the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII metal hip lawsuits are predicated on design defects as well as insufficient safety testing. Design defects could also include an SUV with a tendency to rollover when turning a corner or an electric blanket which could electrocute the user when turned on the highest setting.
- Manufacturing defects occur during the course of the manufacture or assembly of the product. Manufacturing defects may be the most obvious type of product liability claim. The defectively manufactured product may be different from most of the others on the shelf or showroom floor as a manufacturing error was made during processing. Manufacturing defects could include a ladder with improperly attached bracing, headache medicine which was tainted during processing or a car with defective brake pads.
How Do The Three Types of Product Liability Claims Compare?
As a means of comparing the three types of product liability claims, suppose you bought a bottle of aspirin at your local drug store. You become very sick after taking the aspirin. If it turns out the particular bottle you bought was tainted by a dangerous substance which accidentally fell into the bottle during the bottling process, you would have a manufacturing claim. If you suffered a heart attack after taking the aspirin and it was later found that a specific ingredient found in every bottle of this brand of aspirin could potentially cause heart attacks, then you would have a design defect claim. Finally, if the aspirin was manufactured correctly and was found to be generally safe for consumer use but you combined the aspirin with another drug and fell ill, you would have a failure-to-warn/marketing defect claim.
Are Some Products Just Inherently Unsafe?
There are some products which bring certain dangers to the user, such as chainsaws and other power tools, wood chippers, etc. Although these products may inherently have certain dangers, manufacturers must still give proper warnings regarding those dangers. Manufacturers must provide the risks, even of an inherently dangerous product, to allow consumers to make an informed decision regarding the use of the product. Perhaps you have seen labeling on sleeping medications which state “may cause drowsiness.” While this may seem like an obvious statement, the manufacturer is still required to provide this type of warning.
Who is Liable in a Product Liability Case?
As noted above, liability for product defects can rest with a number of different entities including the designer of the product, the manufacturer of the product, the manufacturer of certain parts of the product, the entity or person who assembles or installs the product, the wholesaler or the retailer. The sale of the defective product must occur in the normal manner, meaning a person who re-sells a defective product at their own garage sale would likely bear no liability for the defective product. Further, if the defendant can show the product was altered by the plaintiff or that the product was misused by the plaintiff the plaintiff might not have a valid products liability case.
Why Legal Representation is Essential in a Products Liability Case
There is a relatively short window of time to file a products liability claim to collect damages for your injuries. In the state of Mississippi, the statute of limitations for a products liability claim is three years. Should you miss these time limits, you could be left injured and unable to collect compensation for your injuries. Products liability cases are very complex, often with multiple defendants who knew, or should have known, the potential risks of the product. Your experienced Mississippi products liability attorney from The Stroud Law Firm will not hesitate to go up against a large manufacturer and will never rush to settle your case, rather will work to present a compelling case on your behalf, recouping your losses for injuries caused by a dangerous product. Contact a knowledgeable products liability attorney from The Stroud Law Firm today for a comprehensive evaluation of your potential claim.