Products Liability: Defective Products Are Not Accidents
American manufacturing is a good thing. It creates many well-paying jobs and provides employees and their families with the financial security and benefits they need to not only live, but also to send their kids to school and college. However, while there are many safe and good product manufacturers, there are also companies that make defective products. These companies take unnecessary risks with the American consumer’s life.
Usually for reasons of greed and profit, many companies shirk their safety and ethical responsibilities and design faulty products. A safety feature or mechanism on a product that is available, feasible and does not disrupt the product’s ultimate purpose may cost more to make and eat into the company’s bottom line so the safety design feature is scrapped. It is this kind of “profit over safety” mentality that leads to the design and ultimate manufacture, distribution, and sale of dangerous products.
It is not just design defects that consumers need to worry about. In many instances, companies manufacture products that are not in conformity with the product’s specifications. In other cases, companies make products with shoddy, old or defective materials or accessories that are destined for failure.
And sometimes product manufacturers fail to warn consumers about the danger surrounding a product.
There are stories in the news all the time about how unsafe or faulty products can lead to injury or death. Thousands of product liability suits make their way through the federal and state courts each year. These suits always revolve around the responsibility of these products because a company has the responsibility to design and make safe products, or to put a safety warning on the package. Typically, there are three reasons a consumer can sue a product manufacturer: (1) the product was defectively designed, (2) the product was defectively manufactured or (3) the manufacturer or seller did not warn the consumer or provide ample safety warnings, instructions or packaging about a known dangerous characteristic of a particular product. In strict liability cases, the consumer does not need to show that the manufacturer was negligent. Rather, they only must show that the product was defective.
However, just because a product was defectively designed, manufactured or marketed does not mean that the consumer automatically has a strict product liability case. Rather, the consumer still needs to show that:
- The product was defective (defectively designed, manufactured or marketed)
- The product was not abused or altered after its original sale
- The product’s defect or lack of warning made the product unreasonably dangerous; and
- The product’s defect actually caused the injury.
In addition to the manufacturer, wholesalers and retailers can also be held strictly liable for the defective products they sell. However, in addition to proving that the product’s defective condition caused the injury, the consumer must also show:
- The seller is engaged in the business of selling the defective product
- The product is expected to and does reach the consumer without a major change in the condition from when it was sold.
Based in Scottsdale but serving the surrounding communities of Arizona, David Shapiro Law, PLLC, focuses exclusively on personal injury law, which includes helping those injured, killed or hurt by a defective product. Our success is based on our hands-on approach and service to our clients, getting them the compensation they deserve. David Shapiro also work with the necessary experts in areas of design, packaging, warnings, human factors, accident reconstructionists, industry whistleblowers, manufacturing, distribution, advertising/marketing, crashworthiness, seatbelts, materials, or other applicable areas that help build a strong case against the product manufacturer, distributor and/or seller.
Product Liability Matters We Handle
We work with clients on a wide range of defective product disputes.
Motor Vehicles And Parts
Unfortunately, in motor vehicles, there are a number of automotive defects that can pose grave harm to each and every one of us. At David Shapiro Law, PLLC, SUV’s we are here to help American consumers who have been injured by a variety of automakers and their components such as:
- Tire tread belt separations/tread detachments
- Defective airbags
- Sudden or unintended acceleration
- Defectively installed or designed fuel tank systems
- Defective roof strength
- Faulty seatbelts
- Defective transmission or brake systems
- Improper stability of SUV’s, Jeeps and other motor vehicles
Tragically, when these automotive defects cause an accident, the results are almost always catastrophic. For instance, if there is a vehicle fire started by a defectively designed or manufactured fuel tank, the consumer suffers massive burn injuries. In other instances, following a tread belt separation at high speeds, the vehicle rolls over, causing its occupants to suffer a variety of severe injuries including paralysis or paraplegia, quadriplegia, brain injury or even death. At David Shapiro Law, PLLC, we handle the aftermath of these product defects and failures and will diligently represent the injured consumer. We will thoroughly investigate the underlying product and will not rest until we have found the cause of the product’s failure. The consumer deserves a loyal and fierce advocate like David Shapiro – who has the financial and legal backing – when dealing with the massive manufacturer who will bring an army of lawyers from all over the country to defend its product.
Just remember, if you were injured by a faulty product, feel free to contact David Shapiro at David Shapiro Law, PLLC, as soon as possible. We will immediately get to the scene, collect, and preserve all available evidence including automotive components, the vehicle itself and any other critical pieces of evidence. Keep in mind that without the product, it can be almost impossible to move forward with a potential product liability lawsuit.
There might not be anything more important than protecting our children. Before and after parents have children, they have likely undertaken spent a large amount of time, money and effort into researching and purchasing safe products for their babies, infants and children. These babies, infants and children require a variety of products including cribs, car seats, toys, lotions, shampoos, soaps, carriers, strollers, blankets, pillows and clothes. Tragically, while these products are indispensable for our little ones, they also can pose tremendous safety and health risks.
For example, drop-side cribs are dangerous and have been linked to at least 32 deaths since 2000 and countless other incidents. Fortunately, they were banned by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) CPSC in 2011. If you have any legal questions or concerns regarding cribs, do not hesitate to contact the experienced, reputable and proven Scottsdale personal injury attorney at David Shapiro Law for more information.
Meanwhile, baby bumpers – which were designed to prevent a baby from hitting his or head on crib slats – pose major risks of suffocation and may be linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). According to the Journal of Pediatrics, between 1985 and 2005, there were 27 children from 1 month to 2 years who died from suffocation/strangulation in connection with bumpers. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that parents do not use crib bumpers. If you have any legal questions or concerns regarding baby bumpers, do not hesitate to contact the experienced, reputable and proven Scottsdale personal injury attorney at David Shapiro Law for more information.
Sleep positioners and anti reflux wedges also pose major health risks including death to babies. These products can suffocate babies and has been linked to 13 baby deaths. And even though the CPSC has recommended a ban on anti reflux wedges, they are still available on the marketplace. If you have any legal questions or concerns regarding these products, do not hesitate to contact the experienced, reputable and proven Scottsdale personal injury attorney at David Shapiro Law for more information.
In the United States, all 50 states require that children up to 3 years of age ride in car seats in private vehicles. In Arizona, children younger than 8 years old or less than 4 feet 9 inches tall are required to sit in a child safety seat including a booster seat when riding in a motor vehicle. This means that once a child is 4 feet 9 inches or taller, they do not need to ride in a booster seat – regardless of their age. In addition, a child should not be placed in a forward-facing car seat until he or she is at least 2 years of age. If you have any legal questions or concerns regarding Arizona’s child car seat laws or guidelines, do not hesitate to contact the experienced, reputable and proven Scottsdale personal injury attorney at David Shapiro Law for more information.
Thus, because every child will be placed in a car seat, it is imperative that parents purchase a safe car seat for their child. Tragically, in Arizona, motor vehicle collisions are the number one cause of preventable deaths of children and the number two cause of unintentional deaths to babies younger than 1 year. Choosing the right safety car seat will dramatically reduce a child’s risk of injury or death. And it is imperative that parents know how to install and use the child’s car seat correctly since, according to surveys and medical studies, roughly four out of five parents do not install car seats properly.
Therefore, it goes without saying that it is critical that a child’s car seat is safe and free of defects. A defective car seat can be the difference between preventing injury or death to a child. A fully functional, safe, and defect-free car seat can significantly reduce the likelihood of a child suffering injury or death during a motor vehicle accident. Conversely, an infant car seat with defects can increase the chance of an infant or child needlessly suffering injury or even death during a motor vehicle accident. In short, defective infant car seats are real risk on the roadway.
Common defects associated with car seats include faulty latches or buckles, defective adjusters, flammable materials (which can pose unnecessary burn risks to the child), weak materials or frames, which can lead to a car seat failure.
If a manufacturer becomes aware that their products is defective and can cause harm to infant consumers, they should issue a recall of the product to alert all consumers. Still, that does not prevent injured consumers from taking legal action against these manufacturers. At David Shapiro Law, PLLC, we help injured babies, infants, children and their families hold the makers of these defective children’s products responsible for the harm they cause.
Not surprisingly, common risks, injuries and consequences of defective children’s products include but are not limited to:
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic amputation of an appendage or limb
Just remember, if you or your child was injured by a faulty baby, toddler, infant or children’s product, feel free to contact David Shapiro at David Shapiro Law, PLLC, as soon as possible. We will immediately collect, and preserve all available evidence including the faulty product itself and any other critical pieces of evidence. Keep in mind that without the product such as the car seat, bumper or blanket, it can be almost impossible to move forward with a potential product liability lawsuit. Therefore, you should contact a product’s liability attorney as soon as possible after the incident to protect your and your child’s legal rights.
Medical Devices And Pharmaceuticals
Some products designed to help you unfortunately do the opposite. With the advent of technology and science, medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturers have created devices and drugs that help us live longer and healthier. Pacemakers, stents, implants (such as hips, shoulders), contraceptive devices, defibrillators are examples of these incredible achievements in modern medicine. Unfortunately, some of the manufacturers of these products have cut corners that have ended up hurting the patient rather than helping the patient.
Just like automotive product liability cases, defective medical devices arise from defectively manufactured medical devices, medical devices that were defectively designed and defectively marketed medical devices.
Product liability: Defectively Manufactured Medical Devices
Defectively manufactured medical devices can arise when an error occurs at the manufacturing facility, the medical device is damaged during shipment or the medical device is improperly maintained or kept at the hospital or doctor’s office.
Product liability: Defectively Designed Medical Devices
Defectively designed medical devices can arise when the medical device has an unreasonably dangerous design that causes an injury to the patient. Typically, the device’s unreasonably dangerous nature is proven by showing that the manufacturer knew that there was a feasible, safer alternative design that was available at the time the product was designed and manufactured. In addition, a product’s unreasonably dangerous design is also shown by showing that the safer alternative design would not have interfered in the product’s utility.
Product liability: Defectively Marketed Medical Devices – Failure To Warn
Defectively marketed medical device cases stem from the product manufacturer’s, doctor’s or hospital’s failure to warn, instruct, or advise the patient on how to safely use the medical device. Sometimes, product manufacturers or sellers of medical devices do not provide adequate instructions or warnings to the consumers about the safe use of the device. If the lack of warning causes injury to the patient, he or she may have a marketing defect claim against the medical device manufacturer, product testing laboratory, sales’ representative, doctor or hospital.
Remember: It Is Not Just The Manufacturer Who Is Responsible
The responsible entities in a product liability case may include every person or entity involved in the chain of distribution of the product including:
- Manufacturer of the product
- Designer of the product
- The business that sold the product to consumers
- Other businesses somehow involved