Defective Products

About Defective Products

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s report lists these products associated with deaths of more than 3,500 Americans:

  • Children’s nursery equipment and supplies
  • Toys
  • Sports and recreational equipment
  • Home entertainment and communication equipment
  • Household product packaging
  • Lawn and garden equipment
  • Tools and workshop equipment
  • Home maintenance products
  • Household appliances
  • Heating, cooling and ventilating appliances
  • Housewares
  • Furnishings
  • Construction materials

Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

U.S. consumers have access to a tremendous number of products. Some are produced in our country, while others are manufactured elsewhere and imported. While that means that Americans have probably the world’s best selection of goods to meet their needs, it also means that we are exposed to goods that may be dangerous or defective. For instance, Chinese products have received significant news coverage in recent years for defects that pose significant health hazards. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website lists nearly 100 products manufactured in China that have been recalled … and that figure applies to the first six months of a recent year. The CPSC’s report lists more than 3,500 deaths associated with the use of consumer products.

When companies put profits ahead of safety, they can and should be held responsible for those who are injured or killed by big business’s disregard of the life and limb of their own customers.

At Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, Fort Myers product liability lawyers are committed to protecting the rights of consumers from large manufacturers that create and market dangerous and defective products. When you or someone you love has been hurt because a product wasn’t made correctly or was manufactured with substandard parts, our Naples and Cape Coral personal injury and wrongful death attorneys have the resources needed to build a compelling case for full and fair restitution.

The Cape Coral product liability lawyers at our firm know that the CPSC reported more than 700 product-related deaths of children under 5 years of age. Our firm began as a family enterprise and through decades of growth we remain a family organization at heart. We feel a special bond with Southwest Florida families who must face the unthinkable when a child is lost because of a defective product. Our Cape Coral and Naples wrongful death attorneys are ready to stand by your side as an uncompromising advocate who will aggressively represent your family following such a heartbreaking loss.

The CPSC confirms that emergency rooms treat millions of Americans every year for injuries attributed to the use of defective products. Our Fort Myers personal injury lawyers know that the product categories responsible for the greatest number of injuries include:

  • Sports and recreational equipment
  • Construction materials and home structures
  • Home fixtures and furnishings

Costs just for emergency treatment for injuries caused by defective products have climbed into the billions of dollars. Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, understands that many injuries can require ongoing care. Depending on their severity, medical treatment may be needed for years. Our firm’s Fort Myers and Naples defective product attorneys believe that innocent consumers have a right to expect that the products they purchase and use will be safe. When that isn’t the case, we are prepared to take action on your behalf to pursue compensation that will pay for the medical care you need, make up for wages you’ve lost when injuries keep you from working, and address the pain and suffering you’ve endured.

Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner offers you a free evaluation of your defective product claim. If we take your case, you will be charged no fees unless we win.

800-646-1210 – Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner – Focused on Justice

When a product is placed on a store shelf or online, consumers have a right to assume it will be safe for use.

Unfortunately, product designers, manufacturers and distributors sometimes fail to keep up their end of the deal.

When products don’t work as advertised or are inherently dangerous even when used properly, injuries inevitably result. The veteran product liability lawyers at Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, have committed decades to protecting the rights of consumers and families by holding accountable large manufacturers that create and sell dangerous or defective products.

These companies and their insurers too frequently place profits before people. Both Florida and federal laws are clear when it comes to obligations and responsibilities of product designers, manufacturers and retailers. We work tirelessly to ensure your rights and interests are upheld under these laws.

Such claims fall under an area of law known as product liability. F.S. 768.81 (d) defines product liability as a civil action that is based on damages caused by the manufacture, construction, design, formulation, installation, preparation or assembly of a product.

The fact that virtually every industry has been subject to product liability litigation at some point reveals the pervasiveness of such problems. Some examples include:

  • Motor vehicle products (air bag defects, seat belt failures, seat back collapses, malfunctioning pedals, faulty ignition switches, etc.)
  • Food products (foreign objects in foods, contamination, etc.)
  • Home maintenance products
  • Pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter medicine and nutrition supplements
  • Child and infant products (toys, cribs, car seats, clothing, etc.)
  • Lawn and garden equipment
  • Construction tools and materials
  • Sports and recreational equipment
  • Housewares (blenders, vacuums, etc.)

The societal cost of defective products is astronomical. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that among children age 5 and younger, there are an estimated 75,000 ER-treated injuries associated with defective products each year. In a recent two-year period, there were nearly 340 children whose deaths were associated with nursery products and approximately 257,000 toy-related injuries among children 15 and younger.

When we start to factor in all the injuries and deaths of other age groups associated with defective cars, construction tools, lawn equipment and other items, the monetary cost easily reaches into the billions each year.

Product Liability Claims

Liability theory in a Cape Coral or Fort Myers product liability case will depend on the kind of defect and whether the company provided any risk warning to consumers.

Generally, there are three types of product liability claims:

  • Negligence
  • Strict liability
  • Breach of warranty

In a negligence claim, the plaintiff has to prove that the careless design or manufacture of a product directly resulted in injury. One must show the defendant had a duty to sell a safe product, that this duty was breached (particularly if the defendant knew the product was faulty or defective), and that a defect proximately caused the plaintiff injury.

When developing a product, designers and manufacturers are responsible for making sure the design is safe, that the product is put together with quality materials, that the product is adequately tested and inspected, that all reasonably foreseeable uses are anticipated and that the product isn’t rushed to market before all safety considerations are addressed.

In strict liability claims, plaintiffs need only show there is some aspect of the product that is defective and injury was sustained as a result. Consideration of whether the designer/manufacturer exercised due care and caution is largely irrelevant. If there is a defect and resulting injury, a defendant can be held strictly liable. These kinds of claims will only work for products purchased firsthand (not those bought at garage sales, thrift stores or consignment shops).

Breach of warranty claims focus on whether the designer/manufacturer breached its promises to the consumer. Any time a product is sold, there are two kinds of warranties: express and implied. An express warranty is a stated or written promise or representation made by the retailer or manufacturer regarding the product. An implied warranty is a promise or representation not necessarily stated, but one that is implicit in all product sales—that a product, if used as intended, will not cause harm.

Legal Challenges in Product Liability Litigation

Companies can overcome these assertions if it is shown they provided proper warnings or instructions or if the consumer did not use the product as intended.

Another significant challenge in any product liability case is the issue of causation. That is, consumers have to prove injuries sustained were directly caused as a result of the defendant’s breach of duty. The two essential elements that must be proven are causation-in-fact and foreseeability.

To prove causation-in-fact, the plaintiff needs to show that “but for” the defendant’s negligence or defect, injury would not have occurred. In cases where more than one cause may have factored into the injury, it is sufficient for the plaintiff to demonstrate that the defendant’s negligence was a “substantial factor” contributing to the injury.

To prove foreseeability, a plaintiff has to show that circumstances leading to the injury were a natural and probable consequence of the defendant’s conduct.

Our experienced Fort Myers product liability attorneys understand the burden of proof necessary to win such claims, and we are dedicated to fighting for the best possible outcome for our clients.

If you or a loved one has been injured in Southwest Florida, contact Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. There are no fees or costs unless we win. Offices in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples and Port Charlotte.

Call 800-646-1210 for a Free Consultation.

Florida Injury Lawyer Blog - Defective Products
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