Dangerous and defective products have the potential to cause serious injury or wrongful death to people who use or are exposed to them. Because consumers must rely on product manufacturers and sellers to produce and release products that are reasonably safe for consumers’ intended or expected use, the law places the burden of shouldering the costs of consumers’ injuries and deaths caused by product defects on manufacturers and others involved in defective products’ production and distribution.
The Killino Firm’s San Francisco, California, defective-products lawyers have extensive experience with defective-products cases, including, among others, those arising out of injuries and deaths caused by defective motor vehicles; motor-vehicle safety equipment; household appliances, equipment, and products; and toys and other children’s products. If you were injured or one of your family members was killed in an accident of any kind and you suspect that your injuries or family member’s death was caused by a product defect, you may be entitled to compensation through legal action. Contact The Killino Firm’s San Francisco defective-products lawyers at 415-278-9278 for a cost-free evaluation of your case and additional information about your legal rights and options.
Legal Liability for Injuries and Deaths Caused by Defective Products
When someone has been injured or killed through use of or exposure to a defective and dangerous product, the injured person or deceased person’s family may seek compensation for damages suffered by the injured person or deceased person’s family through the institution of a products-liability personal-injury or wrongful-death action. While such products-liability actions may be brought as negligence, strict liability, or breach-of-warranty cases, the strict-liability form of products-liability action is generally preferred, as it allows a plaintiff to establish defendants’ liability without having to prove that any of the defendants was negligent in producing the defective product or in releasing it to the marketplace.
Most states follow the strict-liability law set forth in the Restatement (Second) of Torts, Section 402A, for products-liability actions seeking recovery for personal injuries or deaths caused by product defects. In these types of products-liability actions, individuals and entities involved in the direct line of products’ production and distribution, from the designer down to the consumer, may be held strictly liable for injuries and deaths found to have been caused by certain types of product defects. Such defendants may include the designers, manufacturers, suppliers, assemblers, wholesalers, and retailers of defective products.
In order to recover compensation for injury or death caused by a product defect, a strict-liability products-liability plaintiff must establish that the product was defective at the time it was sold and at the time the victim’s injury or death occurred, that the defect was a cause of the victim’s injury or death, and that the product was being used as it was intended or reasonably expected to be used at the time of the victim’s accident. In order to establish that the product was “defective,” as that term is defined in products-liability law, the plaintiff must show that the product was “unreasonably dangerous” due to a defect that occurred in its design or manufacture or one that was created through inadequate warnings or instructions regarding its use.
Many of the products we use on a daily basis pose serious hazards to safety and health when defectively designed or manufactured or sold without adequate warnings or instructions regarding their safe use. Cars designed with roofs that collapse in rollover accidents, for instance, may be found to be defective in design and lead to the strict liability of the designers, manufacturers, and others involved in their production and distribution for injuries or deaths determined to have resulted from the particular roof defect. Other vehicle or vehicle safety-equipment defects that may lead to consumers’ injuries and deaths and defendants’ strict liability include faulty ignition switches that shut off vehicles’ electrical systems, power steering, and airbags; airbags that do not deploy when they should, that do deploy when they should not, or that project shrapnel upon deployment; brakes that fail; seatbelts that do not adequately restrain occupants; or tires that blow due to use of unsafe materials in their manufacture.
Medical equipment that malfunctions and incorrectly records a patient’s vital signs may result in a patient’s serious injury or death and the liability of those involved in the defective equipment’s production and distribution. Children’s toys and products are frequently found to contain defects that render them unreasonably dangerous for children’s use. Toys with small parts that easily come off, for example, and that contain no warnings regarding the dangers of small parts for children under three may be found to contain warnings defects, resulting in the liability of products-liability defendants for children’s injuries or deaths caused by choking on the toys’ small parts. Children’s highchairs, strollers, cribs, crib mattresses, car seats, and clothing may all contain defects that pose serious dangers to children’s safety. Furniture and televisions that tip over too easily, power tools that lack adequate warnings regarding safe use or that have defective electrical cords, gas appliances that leak excessive levels of carbon monoxide, and ladders that collapse under users’ weight are just a few of the many products that may be found to contain manufacturing, design, or warnings defects causal of victims’ injuries or death.
If you have been injured or one of your family members has died as a result of a defect in any kind of product, The Killino Firm’s San Francisco defective-products attorneys are ready to fight for the justice you deserve from those who are responsible for your injury or loved one’s death. Contact The Killino Firm at 415-278-9278 for high-quality and aggressive assistance with your defective-products case.