Companies have a duty to their consumers to make certain their products are safe to use, and when they’re not, they may be liable for the repercussions. If you or a loved one ahas been injured due to a defective product, you may be able to seek compensation with a product liability claim. Contact the law firm of Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP and speak to a highly skilled product liability lawyer today. We offer free consultations.
Why Choose Our Product Liability Attorneys
- Our Washington DC product liability lawyers draw on more than 38 years of litigation and negotiation experience.
- We have successfully recovered compensation in cases involving major corporations and businesses.
- The total recovery amount we have obtained on behalf of injured clients exceeds $1 billion.
Why You Need a Defective Product Lawyer
An experienced product liability lawyer will navigate you through the complex personal injury claims process, explain every step along the way, but also handle all aspects of the case for you. That way you will have the opportunity to heal from your injuries. The following will be completed on your behalf:
- Collecting of records and documentation
- Interviewing of witnesses
- Effective legal strategy planning
- Consulting and the hiring of experts
- Negotiating with insurers and opposing counsel
- Represent you in court if a settlement cannot be reached
By hiring of a qualified lawyer, your legal stress will be alleviated as your lawyer will do everything in their power to obtain the compensation you are owed for your injuries.
Product Liability Claims Based on Negligence
Product liability may be based on negligence and often results from a design defect, a manufacturing defect or a failure to warn.
- A design defect is a failure by the manufacturer or producer to design the product in a manner that is safe for its intended use. Generally, a design defect can be demonstrated by showing that a particular product could have been designed using a safer method. An example of a design defect is a machine that was designed without a safety device. Such a machine may injure users when it is being used for its intended purpose.
- Manufacturing defects are defects that occur during the manufacturing process, regardless of the product’s design. Although the product may have been designed safely, the manufacturer made a mistake that made the product unsafe. Examples of these defects include a manufacturer using the wrong materials or forgetting a step during the manufacturing process.
- Marketing defect. A failure to warn of a product’s danger involves the manufacturer’s negligence in failing to provide proper instructions about a product’s use. Even the simplest products may be dangerous if not used properly. Accordingly, manufacturers have a duty to warn consumers of any non-obvious dangers associated with the use of their products. Products can pose a risk to consumers due to improper labeling, inadequate safety warnings or insufficient instructions.
It is important that you have an experienced and winning Washington DC product liability attorney on your side. Our law firm has served many such cases and is well versed in how a manufacturer or company operates and how to obtain the best compensation for you.
Products Liability Claims Based on Strict Liability Theory
Unlike negligence claims, which focus on the behavior of the seller, strict liability claims focus on the product itself. Under strict liability, the seller may be held legally responsible for resulting injuries if the product is defective, even if the seller used all possible care in the preparation and sale of the product. Strict products liability applies primarily to manufacturing defects in which an individual was using a product in a manner that was foreseeable by the manufacturer. In some instances, strict products liability theory may also apply to design defects.
Strict liability only applies in cases in which:
- The seller of the product was a “merchant” (one engaged in the business of selling goods of that particular kind)
- The product was in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous to users or consumers
- There was no alteration of the product
- The product was being used for a foreseeable use
Products are considered “defective” where there was either a manufacturing defect or where the consumer can prove that there was a design defect because there was a safer, economical and practical alternative method of designing the product.
Different Types of Defective Product Cases in Washington DC
There are a few industries that commonly have products recalled due to safety concerns:
Toys have been the subject in many product liability lawsuits over the years, particularly toys that are easily swallowed by small children and create a choking hazard.
Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals
Hundreds of thousands of people use new drugs or devices before the risks are fully understood.
Another common source of defective product claims, as many things can go wrong in the design and manufacturing of a vehicle, possibly leading to fatal consequences. Some examples include top-heavy SUVs that were prone to flipping over and defective tires which have caused accidents.
Chemicals or Other Dangerous Materials
A few well-known occurrences of these types of defective products are the Roundup Ready Weedkiller, which has been linked to causing cancer, as well as asbestos which was used in auto manufacturing and building materials, since discovered to cause mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer. Vapes/e-cigarettes are also another common product that we see claims for.
What must I prove to win a product liability case?
A products liability case can be based either in strict liability or in negligence. Strict liability only applies to manufacturers that routinely sell that particular type of product. To prove strict liability, you must be able to show that:
- The product was defective;
- It injured you; and
- Your injury was a result of that defect
If a seller cannot be held strictly liable, you must also prove that the seller’s behavior was negligent.
How can I prove that a seller’s behavior was negligent?
Negligent behavior can be proven by showing that there was a design defect, a manufacturing defect, or a failure to warn. A design defect is a failure by the manufacturer or producer to design the product in a manner that is safe for its intended use. Generally, a design defect can be demonstrated by showing that a particular product could have been designed using a safer alternative method. An example of a design defect is a machine that was designed without a safety device so that the machine injures users when it is being used for its intended purpose.
Manufacturing defects are defects that occur during the manufacturing process, regardless of the product’s design. Although the product may have been designed safely, the manufacturer made a mistake that made the product unsafe. Examples of these defects include a manufacturer using the wrong materials or forgetting a step during the manufacturing process.
A failure to warn of a product’s danger involves the manufacturer’s negligence in failing to provide proper instructions about a product’s use. Even the simplest products may be dangerous if not used properly. Accordingly, manufacturers have a duty to warn consumers of any non-obvious dangers associated with the use of their products.\
Cases Where a Manufacturer is Held Strictly Liable
Strict liability only applies to manufacturers that routinely sell that particular type of product. To prove strict liability, you must be able to show that the product was defective and that, as a result of that defect, you were injured.
Products are considered “defective” where there was either a manufacturing defect or where the consumer can prove that there was another safer way to design the product.
What types of compensation can I recover in a product liability case?
Each state has its own statute of limitations, which is the time you have file suit. The statute of limitations begins to run on the date of the injury. If you have been injured, you should immediately contact a product liability attorney to determine how long you have to file suit.
In a products liability case, you may be able to recover:
- Compensatory damages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damage
Compensatory damages are those used to cover medical bills, lost wages due to an inability to work, and any property damage caused by a defective product.
Pain and suffering damages are those paid to compensate you for the pain endured due to your injury.
Loss of consortium is a special kind of damages intended to compensate for any negative consequences your spouse’s injury has had on your relationship. Generally, loss of consortium applies where a spouse was killed or received severe permanent injuries that require the other spouse to care for him or her.
What should I do if I have been injured by a defective product?
If a defective product has injured you, you may be able to bring a products liability suit against the manufacturer or seller for compensation for your disability, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages. As promptly as possible after the injury, you should try your best to preserve the product in the same condition it was in when it caused the injury.
You should contact one of our Washington DC product liability attorneys to assist you in evaluating whether you may have a viable legal claim and in identifying any responsible parties. It is important to seek legal advice promptly because your right to obtain monetary relief may be lost if you wait too long.
If you need assistance in your products liability claim, an experienced Washington, D.C., Maryland or Virginia injury attorney at Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP is available to answer any questions or concerns that you may have.
Contact Our Experienced DC Product Liability Lawyer for Help
Our team of highly experienced product liability attorneys at firm of Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP have decades of experience handling injury cases due to defective products. Call today to schedule a free case evaluation.
Koonz McKenney Johnson & Depaolis serve residents of Washington DC including those living in Capitol Hill, Columbia Heights, Downtown District of Columbia, Foggy Bottom, Georgetown, and Mount Vernon.