Product liability lawyer helps you seek compensation
When you are injured because a manufacturer or supplier failed to meet industry safety standards or their product contained defects, you can sue for damages. A product liability lawyer helps you seek compensation through a product liability or mass tort claim. Since product liability claims can prove complex and involve corporate defendants, you can benefit from hiring a product liability attorney with experience handling such cases.
What Is Product Liability?
Product liability law is used to hold manufacturers and sellers accountable for product defects in design, manufacture, or marketing. When a company fails to meet reasonable standards for product safety, injured consumers can hold them accountable with a product liability lawsuit.
If many people are injured by the same product, the courts may decide to consolidate all the cases into multidistrict litigation (MDL) under one judge. These mass tort claims allow both sides to gather and present evidence for all the cases at once. In a class action lawsuit, both sides may agree to a global settlement divided equally among the injured parties. In an MDL, however, all plaintiffs maintain their own lawsuits and seek unique damages based on their circumstances.
A mass tort lawsuit attorney who handles product liability claims in your area can guide you through the legal process and help you determine whether you are eligible to join an existing product liability lawsuit or file your own.
What Does a Product Liability Lawyer Help You With?
The primary responsibility of a product liability lawyer is to defend your legal right to compensation for injuries due to product defects. When you work with a product liability lawyer, you benefit from invaluable legal support throughout your case. A product liability lawyer:
Provides Crucial Experience and Legal Knowledge
A product liability lawyer specializes in filing claims against companies and entities responsible for product quality and safety. They know how to pursue claims against resourceful and sometimes aggressive companies and will actively defend your legal rights after a product defect injury. With a product liability lawsuit attorney on your side, you benefit from a lawyer’s years of experience building and substantiating cases for their maximum settlement value.
Handles the Correspondence and Legal Filings
While you recover from your injuries related to a product defect, your product liability lawyer and their legal team will handle phone calls, letters, and emails from the opposing party and their legal counsel. Instead of searching for documents and defending yourself against pushy representatives, you can focus your energy on your health.
Represents You in Negotiations and Court Proceedings
A mass tort lawsuit attorney familiar with product liability legal processes knows how to counter aggressive negotiation tactics and pursue maximum compensation. They will keep track of hearings, deadlines, court dates, depositions, and other critical proceedings and defend your legal rights every step of the way.
Gathers Critical Evidence About the Defective Product
A product liability attorney will conduct a comprehensive investigation to establish fault and substantiate your claim. They will gather crucial evidence to prove your claim, including product design specifications, testing procedures and results, quality certification documents, product packaging, instruction booklets, and warning labels. In addition, they will use expert opinions about industry standards and reasonable use to support your claim.
Establishes Your Claim’s Value
A product liability lawyer for a mass tort lawsuit or independent personal injury claim will compile evidence to ascertain the full value of your losses due to a product defect. Depending on the severity and extent of your injuries, you could claim lost income, medical bills, hospital expenses, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. To prove the financial value of these losses, your product liability lawsuit lawyer may use medical records, bills and invoices, and testimony from medical experts.
What Are the Types of Product Liability Cases?
A mass tort attorney who specializes in product liability may approach your case differently depending on the circumstances that led to your injury. Any of the following types of product liability may apply to your case:
When a product features an inherently unsafe design, your attorney may pursue a product liability case for design defects. Design defects occur when a product design fails to consider potential dangers that could place consumers at risk. An example of a design defect is a hernia mesh with a coating material that degrades after implantation. In this case, the problem lies in the design of the mesh coating.
Your product liability lawyer may pursue a product liability case for manufacturing defects if there was an error or oversight in the manufacturing process. With manufacturing defects, the product design is sound, but manufacturing mistakes create dangerous conditions for consumers. For instance, if a factory makes a mistake while manufacturing a car transmission component, the defect could cause gear slippage that places vehicle users at risk.
Failure to Warn
When a product manufacturer or distributor becomes aware of a potential hazard, they have a duty to warn consumers of the risks posed by their product. If you were injured because a company failed to advise of the risks of using their product as intended, your product liability attorney can seek compensation on your behalf.
For example, if a pharmaceutical company knew of cancer risks associated with one of their drugs and continued distributing them without advising medical providers or patients, they could be liable for a failure to warn.
A marketing defects claim indicates that the manufacturer did not provide sufficient instructions for a product’s use or warning about its inherent risks. This type of product liability claim is based on the idea that you should be able to trust a product’s safety when you use it in a way that is intended or reasonably foreseeable. Marketing defects and a failure to warn are often cited together in product liability cases.
Breach of Warranty
Breach of warranty claims arise when the product does not meet the terms of a written or implied warranty. For example, if you bought a saw made for cutting metal but were injured because the saw was not strong enough to cut metal, you could pursue a breach of warranty.
To prove a breach of warranty claim, your product defect attorney will need to show that the product manufacturer or distributor failed to provide a quality consistent with the written or implied warranty.
What Are Some Examples of Product Liability Cases?
Product liability claims can be filed for defects associated with virtually any product you can purchase, from prescription drugs to automobiles. Recent product defect cases include:
Johnson & Johnson’s Contaminated Talcum Powder
Johnson & Johnson is in ongoing litigation on several fronts for defects related to their talcum powder products. Claims allege that the products were contaminated with asbestos, which caused cancer in many patients. The evidence seems to indicate that J&J was aware of the presence of asbestos in their talcum powder for many years but failed to warn consumers.
The latest J&J talcum powder lawsuit attorney mass tort case, MDL 2738, is currently in process. However, a resolution of the case has been delayed by J&J’s efforts to file for bankruptcy.
Faulty 3M Combat Arms Earplugs
In one of the largest mass tort product liability cases to date, MDL 2885, more than 230,000 consumers have filed claims against 3M for their defective Combat Arms Earplugs products. (Reuters) The earplugs were distributed to thousands of military members, who then used them during training and combat.
Complaints allege that veterans and current members of the military suffered significant hearing loss and tinnitus due to faulty earplug design. As of November 2022, 3M has attempted to shift liability to their subsidiary Aearo Technologies LLC, which has filed for bankruptcy.
The attempt to shift 3M’s liability for the earplug defects to Aearo and thus into bankruptcy was denied, but Aearo has filed an appeal. The outcome of this appeal could affect how future cases are handled when companies try to eliminate or reduce product liability claim settlements through bankruptcy.
Defective Hernia Mesh Products
Defective hernia mesh products are a common source of mass tort product liability litigation. In recent years, there were several mass tort hernia mesh lawsuits against major medical device manufacturers, including:
- Davol Inc. / C.R. Bard Polypropylene Hernia Mesh (MDL 2846)
- Ethicon PHYSIOMESH™ Flexible Composite Hernia Mesh (MDL 2782)
- Atrium Medical Corp. C-Qur Mesh (MDL 2753)
Each case has unique characteristics, but all three cases involve product defects that caused adverse side effects and medical complications. The product liability claims for hernia mesh also allege that the manufacturers knew or should reasonably have known about the dangerous potential side effects of their mesh products.
The Davol Inc./ C.R. Bard litigation is ongoing, with the next bellwether trial scheduled to begin in 2023. Ethicon and Atrium both settled their cases in 2021 for confidential amounts. However, Atrium’s parent company Getinge announced in January 2022 that they would pay $66 million to settle more than 3,000 claims.
Foam Degradation in CPAP, BiPap, and Ventilator Machines
Lawsuits against Philips Respironics indicate that recalled CPAP, BiPAP, and ventilator machines contain a sound attenuation foam that releases harmful gasses and particles into the user’s airways. Philips faces over hundreds of lawsuits under MDL 3014, with thousands more likely to follow.
In November 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) indicated that more than 90,000 adverse event reports had been issued since April 2021. They also attributed 260 deaths to Philips CPAP, BiPAP, and ventilator machine defects. This case is ongoing, and patients who were injured by recalled Philips products can still join the MDL.
If you believe you have been injured because of a defective product, even if it was not recalled, you could pursue compensation in a mass tort product liability claim. A product liability lawyer can advise you of your legal rights after a product defect injury and advocate for your right to a fair settlement.
How Does a Product Liability Lawyer Prove Your Product Defect Claim?
A mass tort product defect lawyer aims to defend your legal right to fair compensation after you are injured by a defective product. To prove your product defect claim, your product defect attorney must do the following:
Establish That the Product Is Defective
A product liability lawyer is well-versed in regulatory and industry standards that govern quality and safety for the defective product. Through comprehensive investigation and thorough document reviews, they can show where the product’s design, manufacture, or labeling failed to adhere to safety standards.
Demonstrate That You Used the Product as Intended
Many companies will attempt to foist the blame on the victim. They may say that you did not use the product as intended or that you did not follow the instructions or warnings provided. Your product liability attorney will compile the details of your defective product injury to show that your injury was not due to your own actions. They may use the defective product, original packaging, instruction booklets, and other items to show that the product did not operate safely when used as instructed. Your lawyer may also secure testimony from witnesses and industry experts.
Show That the Defective Product Caused Your Injuries
Your lawyer will use medical records, medical expert testimony, witness statements, and other documentation to prove you were injured as a direct result of the product defect. The goal is to create a direct link between your injuries and the defective product, so you have grounds to pursue damages.
Prove That You Were Actually Injured
Your product liability lawyer understands that your injuries may not be limited to the physical injury caused by a defective product. They will ensure that your case includes evidence to support the full extent of your physical, mental, emotional, and financial injuries.
Your attorney will seek medical records for proof of the extent and severity of your physical injuries. To substantiate the financial losses you suffered due to hospital visits, medical procedures, and ongoing medical treatment, they will secure invoices and hospital bills.
Since lost income, emotional anguish, and loss of enjoyment can also count as injuries in a product liability claim, your product liability lawyer will seek evidence to prove these damages as well.
Contact a Product Liability Lawyer for a Mass Tort Lawsuit
If you or a loved one were injured due to a product defect, you deserve assistance from a quality product liability lawyer. With the help of a mass torts lawyer, you could seek maximum compensation from product manufacturers and distributors after a product defect injury. Complete our online form to reach a product liability attorney in your area for a free consultation.