Product Liability

Johnny Stewart attorney Charleston

Clawson and Staubes represents individuals, manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers in cases involving allegations of dangerous or defective products. Every year, thousands of products that we use every day are recalled by manufacturers and retailers. Other times, a product is not recalled and causes harm or even death to a member of the public. When a consumer is injured by the use of one of these defective products, that person is entitled to compensation from those responsible for the defect.

Products liability cases seek to hold a manufacturer or retailer liable for placing a defective or dangerous product into the marketplace, and ultimately, into the hands of a consumer. Consumers assume that when they purchase a product, that product is in relatively safe condition for the purpose for which it was intended.

Products in the stream of commerce are regulated by U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. However, most claims are brought under state law principles. It can be a confusing area of law and requires an attorney with experience in handling these cases. While most people may think that manufacturer is primarily liable for any product defects, the error could have occurred anywhere in the production process, including designer, suppliers, and even retailers. Not only are there multiple parties which may be liable for the defect, but expert testimony is often required to establish or disprove the various elements of the claim.

Types of Products Liability:

  • Design Defects: This occurs where all products of a class are found to be defectively designed. In other words, the flaw in the product is not in the production, but in the way the product was designed. A product which was perfectly built, could still be a flawed product.
  • Manufacturing Defects: These types of defects occur where the design of the product is safe, but an error was made in the manufacturing of the product.
  • Marketing Defects: This occurs where a product fails to sufficiently warn consumers about the dangers of a product, the labeling of the product does not meet the requirements set by the
    Food and Drug Administration for particular products, or does not provide sufficient instructions on how to safely handle and use the product.

In addition to the different types of products liability, there are also multiple theories under which a party might bring or defend a claim. For example, depending on which type of claim is brought, different parties may be found to be responsible. The defect could have occurred at the design level or may have been improperly manufactured or handled in the supply chain. Thus, understanding the roles of the various parties is crucial and requires skilled, experienced counsel.

There are many defenses to product defect cases. For example, the defense may seek to identify where in the supply chain the defect occurred and demonstrate the lack of responsibility of the other members of the chain. Likewise, the defense may elicit expert testimony to show that a product met the proper standards at the time of the manufacture and production of the product.

The law of product liability is complex and can involve high stakes litigation. It is, therefore, crucial to retain an attorney who is experienced in handling product defect cases. Clawson and Staubes represents both plaintiffs and defendants in product liability cases and is here to assist in evaluating the evidence, identifying all possible liable parties, and navigating your case towards a successful result.

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