Products Liability:

If you have been harmed by a defective product, or a product that was designed in a way that is dangerous to the public, the attorneys at the Ernst Law Group can help. If you think you have been harmed by a serious product defect or want to find out more, you can set up a free consultation with us by calling our office. We have successfully litigated product defect cases for more than 30 years, and recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients.

Product liabilty law was created to protect the public from defective products. We have designed an FAQ (link FAQ) detailing what to do if you think you have encountered or been harmed by a defective product.

If you are harmed by a product, there are two different parties that can be held responsible. The two different parties are the Suppliers and the Manufacturers.

Supplier Liability

California holds any supplier of a defective product to the public is responsible for the safety of those products. A supplier is anyone that distributes or sells a product. Any supplier of the defective product can be held liable. The goal of the law is to prevent anyone from being given any product that is unsafe.

Manufacturer Liability:

Any manufacturer of a defective product is responsible for making sure of the safety of their products. A manufacturer is anyone that distributes or sells a product. Any manufacturer of the defective product can be held liable. The goal of the law is to prevent anyone from making an unsafe product.

So how do you know if you have a defective product? This is a walkthrough of how to determine you have a defective product.

 Manufacturing Defect:

A manufacturing defect is when a product is comes off the assembly line defective. It is built with a flaw, where the product is different than how it was designed to come off the assembly line. This flaw makes the product more dangerous, in any way, than consumers would expect of the product. The bad one that slipped through. One in a million automobile where steering fails. Or brakes fail. Another example would be a dead mouse at bottom of package.

California makes manufacturing defects strictly liable. This means that if there is any divergence from how the product was designed, and the final product, there is liability.

Safety Precautions do not matter. They should matter, and do matter most of the time safety precautions do matter to make the public safe. But if there is a claim for a manufacturing defect, as the product was not made the way it was designed, then it does not matter how many safety procedures were put in place. The company could be NASA, but if there was a rocket that was not built the way it was designed, both the supplier and the manufacturer can be held liable.

Design Defect

Your product has a design defect if the product could have been designed more safely.  If you think that you have a product that caused you harm, feel free to call the Ernst Law Group, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and get a free consultation.

Here is what we will examine:

A product with a design defect occurs when there is another way it can be physically constructed.  This means there are three requirements of a defective product for you to have a lawsuit.  Your product must meet all of the following:

  1. If there was a way to make a safer version of the same product than the version marketed.
  2. The new design must be economical or cost effective.
  3. The design needs to be a practical alternative. The new design cannot defeat the primary purpose of the object.

Warning Defect

When a product cannot be made safer in any practical way, but still seriously threatens consumers with risk, you also have a product liability case.  If there is a dangerous part of the product, and the dangers are hidden, then that product must have proper warnings.

This is called an information defect. Warnings must be consistently displayed clearly and in a fashion that is easy to see.  The warnings need to gather the attention of the consumer. Might not be enough to just have language in English if the product is consistently sold to people who do not speak English.  Maybe icons and pictures are needed.

A few caveats:

If can be designed to make it safer, then the warning will not defeat liability. There will be still liability.

The product should not have been altered since it left the defendants hands.

You must be making a foreseeable use of the product at the time of the injury. A foreseeable use, or foreseeable uses are not limited to the intended uses of the product.  This means as long as people will use the product in such a manner, you have a possible case.

If an accident occurs from using a “dangerous product” you can be entitled to compensation.
 
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