Virginia Legal Help for Defective Products
Product liability is an area of personal injury law focused on providing recovery and compensation for people injured by defective products. It also tries to penalize those in the supply chain and deter them from creating or selling products that injure consumers.
Consumers can face several types of injuries caused by defective products, including electrocutions, burns, cuts, broken bones, and more. Vehicles with manufacturing flaws can lead to accidents, for example, and protective equipment such as helmets can fail, leading to injury.
In a recent year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated that, on average, furniture, TVs, and appliances tipping over due to instability caused 20,500 injuries treated by emergency departments. Approximately 70 percent of ED-treated injuries related to tip-overs occurred in the home.
One of the primary tenets of product liability law is that any party in the supply chain can be held responsible for injuries caused by that product. This way, the law provides victims with the greatest possibility of recovery. Products are, generally speaking, required to meet the safety expectations of the ordinary consumer.
If a defective product has injured you, contact the law firm of Emroch & Kilduff. We have offices throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, and our experienced Virginia Product Liability and Defective Products Attorneys have helped people like you recover compensation for their losses. There is a strict time limit for filing a claim, so the sooner you get in touch with us, the better chance you have of succeeding.
Different Types of Products Liability
The three primary theories of product liability are negligence, strict liability, and breach of warranty.
- Negligence: This theory depends on whether the manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer did not exercise the requisite reasonable care in making, distributing, or selling the product.
- Strict Liability: Under a strict liability theory, a defendant in the stream of commerce for a particular product may be held liable even if it has not been negligent. This theory developed because it can be very difficult to prove that a manufacturer or retailer was at fault for a person’s injuries.
- Breach of Warranty: When a company makes or sells a product, that product often comes with certain warranties, either express or implied. In the context of product liability, a breach of warranty claim may exist if the end-user was injured because of a failure to meet the terms of these warranties.
The attorneys at Emroch & Kilduff has helped victims understand their rights under the law and have developed theories to recover compensation for the harm caused by defective products. If you are in such a situation, feel free to call us at (804) 358-1568 to schedule a consultation. We have offices throughout Virginia. We have a long history of positive results for our clients, including many cases with a recovery of more than $1 million. We are here to help injured people just like you. Call us today.
The Types of Product Defects
Three different kinds of product defects may cause harm to a consumer.
These are manufacturing defects, design defects, and marketing defects.
- Manufacturing Defects: These are problems that occur during the manufacture or assembly of a product. They are not due to the product’s design.
- Design Defects: These are defects in the design of the product. The product has been manufactured or assembled correctly, but the design was flawed, causing potential injury.
- Marketing Defects: These are flaws in the way the product is marketed, such as inadequate warnings, improper labeling, or poor user instructions.
Responsibility and Burden of Proof in Product Liability Cases
In some product liability cases, the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur shifts the burden of proof from the plaintiff to the defendant. Translated from Latin, res ipsa loquitur means “the thing speaks for itself.”
In a product liability case, it means the fact that an injury occurred is enough to say there is likely a viable claim. In cases where the burden shifts, the plaintiff need not prove that the defendant was negligent. Rather, the burden is on the defendant to prove that it was not. This is an important advantage for plaintiffs in product liability cases.
Likely Product Liability Defenses
Parties who may be liable in product liability cases have the right to put forth defenses. One common defense is that the injured victim made alterations to the product that led to the resulting harm. Another common defense is that the plaintiff has failed to prove that the defendant was in fact in the distribution chain for the product. An attorney who has experience handling product liability cases on behalf of victims can often rebut these defenses.
In the case of the latter defense, for example, the plaintiff’s attorney might argue that market share liability applies. This theory applies in cases where the plaintiff cannot specifically identify the manufacturer of a product but where a defendant has an ascertainable market share for that product. Market share liability is common in cases against pharmaceutical companies, for example.
Liability for Unavoidably Unsafe Products
Some products are inherently unsafe. A knife that is too dull to injure a person, for example, is likely also too dull to be useful for its intended purpose in the kitchen. The law generally puts the onus on the end-user when it comes to unavoidably unsafe products, but manufacturers and retailers may still be liable if they fail to warn about a potential injury or provide adequate instructions for proper usage.
Virginia Lawyers for Product Liability
The law firm of Emroch & Kilduff has experience handling product liability cases and a history of helping its clients recover compensation from the responsible parties. If you have suffered an injury due to a defective product, we will strive to help you by gathering evidence, conducting depositions, and interviewing witnesses to build your case for trial. Our Virginia product liability attorneys will work hard on your behalf. Contact us today at (804) 358-1568 to schedule a consultation.