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San Bernardino Product Liability Lawyer

Every year, thousands of injuries in the United States are the result of defective or dangerous products. The number of accidents involving defective products was so large that the U.S. legal system created rules specifically for these incidents. “Product liability” laws are different from standard injury laws and cover who is responsible for defective and dangerous products. Injured consumers can obtain compensation from negligent manufacturers with help from an experienced defective product claim lawyer in San Bernardino like Estey Bomberger, LLP.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a faulty, dangerous, or defective product, you may be considering filing a product liability lawsuit against the designer, manufacturer, or retailer of that product. You should contact an experienced defective product lawyer before filing a lawsuit. The attorneys at Estey & Bomberger have successfully represented consumers in product liability lawsuits for years. For a free consultation with a lawyer serving San Bernardino and the surrounding areas, call 909-882-2016.

Understanding Product Liability Law

A product liability lawsuit is a specific type of lawsuit based in tort law. A “tort” is a civil wrong that courts recognize as the basis of a lawsuit. In a product liability lawsuit, the wrong is that a designer, manufacturer, or retailer introduced a dangerous, defective, or faulty product to the marketplace. When people get hurt as a result of these products, they may file a defective product lawsuit to recover for the damages they incurred.

In a product (or products) liability lawsuit, the plaintiff (or a group of plaintiffs) claims that a product caused the plaintiff or plaintiffs harm because it was either defective or not suitable for the use for which it was advertised. These lawsuits are often class action lawsuits, which means that a group of people who have the same claims file a lawsuit jointly against a particular defendant.

It may surprise you to learn that any or all of the parties along the “chain of manufacture” of a dangerous, defective, or faulty product may be liable, or legally responsible, for harm or injuries caused to consumers. The “chain of manufacture” includes almost every party who is responsible for bringing a product to market, such as the manufacturer(s) of all component parts used in the product, assembling manufacturer(s), wholesaler(s), and the owner(s) of retail stores that sell the defective product.

In the past, “products” that could be subject to a products liability lawsuit were tangible personal property (such as a car or appliance). Now, “products” include intangible items such as gas and other items like pets, houses and other real property, and writings (such as maps and navigational charts). Thus, almost any product that contains a defect or causes harm to a consumer of the product may be the subject of a product liability lawsuit. Those to whom products are loaned or given may also sue if they are injured by a dangerous, defective, or faulty product.

How Product Liability Protects Consumers

In a standard personal injury case, the courts require the plaintiff and his or her defective product attorney to prove an injury was the result of another person’s negligence. In contrast, according to product liability laws, a plaintiff doesn’t have to prove that someone was negligent. He or she only has to prove that a defective product caused the injury.

Product liability refers to the courts holding manufacturers, distributers, or retailers liable for allowing defective products to reach the masses. Federal law has strict guidelines for the standards of care a manufacturing company owes its consumers. When someone breaks these standards, courts hold the responsible party liable under theories of negligence, breach of warranty, or strict liability. Speak with a defective product claim lawyer to determine which branch of product liability law your case falls under.

 

Types of Product Liability Claims

The “plaintiff,” or person who files a lawsuit, must establish certain things in order to recover from a designer, manufacturer, or retailer of a dangerous, defective, or faulty product. There are three different types of claims that may be included in a products liability lawsuit. The first is that a product contained a “design defect.” The second is that a product contained a “manufacturing defect.” The final type of product liability claim is that a product contained a “marketing defect,” or did not come with the proper instructions.

  • DESIGN DEFECT. In a products liability case based on a design defect, the plaintiff or plaintiffs claim that a product has an inherent problem that existed before it was manufactured. If a product contains a design flaw that causes it to be unreasonably dangerous, a designer, manufacturer, or supplier of the product may be liable for the damages it causes even if the product serves its purpose well. For example, a company may design and manufactures a pair of over-ear headphones. The headphones may deliver audio content effectively, but a design flaw could cause the headphones to heat up and burn users’ skin. The flaw in the headphones is a design defect.
  • MANUFACTURING DEFECT. In a products liability case based on a manufacturing defect, the plaintiff or plaintiffs claim that a product was dangerous or defective because of the way it was manufactured or constructed. In a manufacturing defect case, the problem with the product occurs during the manufacturing process and before it is shipped to wholesalers and retailers. In a manufacturing case, only a small amount of the total products that a company manufacturers may be defective. For example, a manufacturer may produce 10,000 sleeping bags. However, only 100 of those sleeping bags may have stuffing that is flammable in them that ignites when the sleeping bag gets close to a fire. The manufacturer, as well as wholesalers and retailers in some cases, may be liable for including flammable material in the sleeping bags.
  • MARKETING DEFECT. In a products liability case based on a defect in marketing and packaging, the plaintiff or plaintiffs claim that a product did not come with adequate instructions or was advertised improperly. A defect in marketing or packaging arises when a designer, manufacturer, or supplier gives improper instructions about how to use a product, does not provide adequate instructions about how to use a product, or fails to adequately warn consumers about latent dangers in the product. If consumers reasonably rely on these instructions or warnings, and are injured as a result, they may file a products liability lawsuit against the designer, manufacturer, or retailer of the product. For example, if a company sells a riding lawnmower, but does not provide instructions that explain how to properly remove and clean the machine’s blades, it may be liable for injuries that occur when consumers are cleaning the blades of their lawnmowers.

What are my Legal Options for a Product Liability Injury?

Two primary approaches exist for a consumer to file suit or process an injury claim against the manufacturer of a product. These are negligence and strict liability. In the case of the former, a plaintiff must prove that the manufacturer introduced a defect by means of negligent behavior during the making or design of the product. This would include failed safety tests or vague warning labels. For the latter, a plaintiff merely needs to present evidence that the manufacturer introduced a flaw during the manufacturing or design of the product, irrespective of manufacturer attention to the product’s construction. Other legal courses exist, including assertion of warranty rights of the customer and tortuous misrepresentation.

Every day, consumers bring home numerous new products all touted to accomplish certain tasks. However, sometimes those products don’t work correctly because of a defect, resulting in an injury. When this happens, you need to have a team in your corner with experience in product liability laws.

Submit Your Claim with a Defective Product Attorney Near Me

If you or a loved one has been injured by a dangerous, faulty, or defective product, you should speak with an experienced product liability attorney right away. A lawyer can help protect your rights, and will pursue all available forms of compensation for the injuries you sustained as a result of a bad product. For a free and confidential consultation with a personal injury attorney serving San Bernardino and the surrounding areas, call Estey & Bomberger today at (909) 882-2016.

Start your recovery today

We serve all of San Bernardino County, including Apple Valley, Barstow, Big Bear, Chino, Fontana, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Yucaipa, Victorville and all of the Inland Empire. Give us a call at (909) 882-2016 to schedule an appointment.

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