Sometimes large corporations are more concerned with profit than with safety. They may ignore studies that show a new product carries certain risks, or they may not conduct enough tests to make sure that the item is safe. Whether it is an SUV, a baby stroller, or a bounce-house, a defective device can cause devastating harm to an unsuspecting consumer, or even cause a wrongful death. The attorneys at Feizy Law Office represent Dallas residents in personal injury claims and can help consumers try to hold companies accountable for dangerous flaws in their products.Types of Product Liability Claims
There are three general categories for product liability claims arising out of items that cause harm to a consumer: defective manufacturing, defective design, and failure to warn, which is also known as a marketing defect. In Texas, a plaintiff must identify which type of flaw is at issue. The victim must prove that the product at issue has a defect, that the product came to the plaintiff without any substantial changes to its condition, that the defect made the product unreasonably dangerous, and that the defect caused his or her damages. Plaintiffs may also need to prove other elements, depending on the type of defect that is being alleged.
In a design defect claim, the plaintiff must not only prove the foregoing elements, but also that there was a safer alternative design. Texas courts apply a risk-utility analysis to determine whether a product was defectively designed such that it was unreasonably dangerous. Some of the factors that may be considered include whether:
- The product's utility to the user and public as a whole weigh against the likelihood of injury from its use;
- There was a substitute product available that could meet the same need and be neither too unsafe nor unreasonably expensive;
- The manufacturer could have eliminated the risk without seriously affecting its utility or significantly increasing costs; and
- The user should have been able to anticipate the inherent dangers and general public knowledge of risks.
In a defective manufacturing claim, the plaintiff must not only prove the four elements above, but also that the product deviated from its specifications. The plaintiff will need to show the product was not made the way it was designed to be made and that this caused the accident. For example, a defectively manufactured tire that blows out as a result of the defect can result in injuries to a driver or passengers in a car.
In a failure to warn case, the plaintiff must prove the product lacked adequate warnings. If a manufacturer cannot eliminate all risks, it must warn any potential users or consumers of the dangers associated with the product if it is being used normally or in a way that can be anticipated, even if this is not the purpose for which the item is being sold. Consumers who clearly misuse a product, or use it in a way that cannot reasonably be anticipated, will not be able to recover compensation. The duty to warn related to prescription drugs includes certain special issues, since many drugs have side effects. Generally, as new information becomes available, a manufacturer should update its warnings to consumers directly or through mass media.Explore Your Options after an Accident with an Attorney in Arlington
Product liability lawsuits can present unique challenges. Large manufacturers are often assisted by a team of attorneys and experts who try to avoid liability by burying a consumer plaintiff in mountains of paper. However, representation from a skillful personal injury or wrongful death attorney can help individuals in the Arlington area assert their rights. Call Feizy Law Office at (214) 651-8686 or complete our online form. We represent consumers throughout the Dallas region, including in Fort Worth, Garland, Irving, and Plano.