Where Can I Find Help for My Product Liability Cases in Titusville, FL?407 South Washington Avenue, Suite #3
Titusville, FL 32796
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Product Liability Cases in Titusville, FL
Defective and dangerous products result in thousands of injuries every year, whether a physical injury or a product not measuring up to the expectations marketed to the consumer. Even residents of Titusville have encountered unacceptable issues with products. A defective or dangerous product can be anything like electronics, medical devices, vehicles, baby formula, or even medications.
Fortunately, we have product liability laws that allow victims a cause of action if they are injured or suffer losses due to a defective consumer product. Product liability laws are based on the idea that a business or manufacturer has a duty to ensure their products won't cause harm to consumers. Courts have imposed liability for negligent product makers since it's generally believed they have specific knowledge of their product and thus are responsible for any damage or injuries that result.
Suppose you or a loved one has had any experience with a defective product. In that case, you may be wondering, “Where can I find help for my product liability cases in Titusville, FL?” Morgan and Morgan's product liability lawyers are here for guidance.
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What Is a Product Liability Lawsuit?
A product liability lawsuit can arise from the use of any product. A product can be anything sold, with the exception of services and real estate. Machinery used in the workplace, on a farm or ranch, and in the home is often the reason for a product liability case because it causes some harm or injury. Likewise, food products sold in grocery stores or restaurants can cause personal injury, as can prescription or over-the-counter drugs. When a product is defective or is irresponsibly marketed by failing to warn of hazards or how to use the product properly, the business or manufacturer may be responsible for the damages they cause. Likewise, suppose a product fails to meet expectations created through marketing collateral. In that case, the consumer may be able to file a lawsuit.
What Are the Types of Product Liability Claims?
There are several ways a product liability case can happen. Here are some examples:
Defective design - A product can have a defective design that makes it inherently dangerous to use as intended. For instance, a food processor that leaks liquids causing the user to be electrocuted while using the machine as it was designed, would be grounds for a product liability claim. The issue is a poorly designed food processor that allows liquids to escape the vessel. Another example is a pressure cooker that would enable a user to open the cooker before it was depressurized. The consumer suffers scalding burns from the contents exploding onto their face, neck, hands, and chest.
A defective design can also come from missing safeguards on machinery like lawnmowers and industrial equipment that can cause catastrophic injury because of missing automatic shutoffs or guards to protect limbs.
Medical devices with design flaws have caused thousands of injuries, like Allergan breast implants that the FDA linked to anaplastic large cell lymphoma. Another example is Edwards Lifesciences monitoring platforms, whose products could cause electric shock, burns, and even death if fluids leaked into its AC power outlets. Another medical device design flaw was found in Physio-Control defibrillators. The company's defibrillator was found to have electrical problems, which may cause it to fail when delivering life-saving shocks after cardiac arrest.
Failure to warn - When a product has inadequate instructions or safety warnings, it can be dangerous to use and may injure the consumer. People must be able to understand how to use and store a product as well. Manufacturers must inform users how to use their products safely and how misuse could be dangerous.
A product warning must be conspicuous so a consumer can easily find it and understand the dangers. That's why electrical devices usually have a prominent warning about the possibility of shock if the device comes into contact with a liquid. Not all products have to warn about the possibility of injury if it's obvious. For example, bolt cutters, knives, trimming shears, and scissors would not need to come with a warning about the possible injury from a cut. However, a home exercise device would need to come with a warning about the maximum amount of weight it can handle.
Even if a manufacturer was unaware of the risks, that doesn't exclude them from liability. This is because the courts believe they should have known through reasonable tests, investigation, and research. When a product is discovered to be dangerous at any point, the manufacturer has a duty to make the public aware. Failure to warn lawsuits can also be lodged against a distributor or retailer.
Some well-known examples of failure to warn lawsuits are Johnson & Johnson and Monsanto Roundup cases. Johnson & Johnson failed to warn consumers that their talcum powder could increase the risk of ovarian cancer in women who used the product for feminine hygiene purposes. Monsanto failed to warn consumers of the dangers of a chemical in their popular weed-killing product, Roundup. The chemical has been linked to non-Hodgkins lymphoma and other cancers.
Defectively manufactured products - Products that are defective due to how they are manufactured are perhaps the most common in product liability litigation. A problem occurred while constructing the product at the factory. Due to a missing or defective component or a toxic ingredient, the product is hazardous for its intended use.
Some examples of defectively manufactured products have made headlines across the nation. The Takata airbags incident was huge when it was found that the airbag inflators could explode, propelling shrapnel into the vehicle. The airbags have been linked to at least 20 deaths, and over 37 million vehicles were recalled. In 2000, Firestone Tires and the Ford Motor Company were linked to 271 deaths and 800 injuries. There were reports that the Firestone tire's tread was separating from the tires at high speeds and high temperatures. The fallout was many lawsuits being filed for personal injury. Firestone set aside $800 million to deal with these lawsuits, and Ford spent $590 million compensating victims.
What Do You Need to Prove for Product Liability?
If you're asking, "Where can I find help for my product liability cases in Titusville, FL?”— you or a loved one has likely been the victim of some form of negligence. Under Florida laws, any product maker, distributor, or reseller can be held liable if the product is found to be unreasonably dangerous. Morgan and Morgan are ready to help fight for your compensation. Here is what is needed for a successful product liability case in Florida.
Loss - As a plaintiff, you must prove that you suffered some physical injury or financial loss because of your use of the product. If there are no losses, there is no case, even if the product is discovered to be dangerous.
Defect or failure to warn - You must demonstrate that the product was defective during the design or manufacturing phase or that the manufacturer knew or should have known that their product was dangerous and failed to warn consumers of the risk adequately.
Proximate cause - The injury or financial loss was directly caused by using the defective product.
The product was used as intended - Lastly, you must prove the manner in which you used the product was as the manufacturer intended or as a reasonable person would be expected to use the product.
Gathering evidence for your product liability claim is crucial. Once a lawsuit is filed, we go into the discovery process with the defendant. Discovery is a phase of litigation where both sides see the evidence the other has to prepare for trial. For example, we may attempt to get the defendant to hand over insider communications that may reveal they were aware that their product was defective. Still, instead of alerting the public, they covered it up.
Conversely, the defendant may try to get information proving you did not use the product as intended, which led to your injuries. They may ask for medical records that would contain information you told the treating physician or may look for evidence that your injury was caused by something other than their product.
Discovery is a critical phase of product liability litigation, as the information revealed can make or break your case. Because of this, plaintiffs often have an uphill battle to get access to the information they need. However, some legal remedies come in the form of subpoenas, depositions, and interrogatories. It's critical to work with an experienced product liability lawyer for all these reasons. We have a great sense of when a defendant is acting in good faith or when they're purposely being deceitful.
When we hit a roadblock, we can ask the judge to order the defendant to cooperate by filing a "motion to compel." Product liability cases often require the help of expert witnesses that have in-depth knowledge of manufacturing practices, testing, research, and more. However, we sometimes run into issues if a defendant argues the expert isn't an expert or is using unreliable scientific studies to prove their points. Defendants in product liability claims are often big businesses with lots of resources to fight, so it's in your best interests to use an equally powerful law firm with plenty of its own resources. Morgan and Morgan is such a law firm with over 900 trial-ready lawyers and thousands of supporting staff.
What Are the Damages for Product Liability?
The term "damages" is the sum of money that is paid to a successful plaintiff in a lawsuit. Damages are meant to compensate a plaintiff for their losses, like medical bills and pain and suffering. But it can also be a form of punishment the court imposes for the defendant's bad behavior. This is known as punitive damages. Several forms of damages can be awarded, but ultimately, it's a dollar amount. The amount you could receive will be based on the severity of your harm or injury. Here are the three types of damages in a product liability case:
Economic losses - This form of damage would include actual monetary losses such as medical expenses, the cost of a disability, lost wages or income, and property loss or repair.
Non-economic losses - This is intended to compensate victims for harm that is not quantifiable, such as pain and suffering or loss of consortium (when a spouse can no longer give the love, services, support, companionship, or intimate relations they were able to before the injury.)
Punitive damages - A jury may award punitive damages if they find the defendant's conduct to be particularly terrible. For example, in 2020, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $750 million to four plaintiffs who claimed their mesothelioma was caused by asbestos-tainted baby powder. Johnson & Johnson knew about the contamination but did not make it public.
Contact Morgan and Morgan Product Liability Lawyers
Hopefully, this article has answered your question, "Where can I find help for my product liability cases in Titusville, FL?" When a defective product has harmed you or a loved one, we're here to protect your rights and fight for compensation. No manufacturer or business should get away with harming consumers because of their negligence. However, time is limited for these kinds of cases in Florida. You have a finite amount of time to make a claim because the statute of limitations in Florida is four years from the date of the injury. Don't delay. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.