Products Liability

Products liability includes cases where defectively designed or manufactured products cause serious injury or death.  In addition to recovering medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering for the injuries you or a loved one suffered at the hands of a defective product, products liability cases can also result in safer products and product warnings.  Under Texas law, a "product" includes most things that are bought and sold in the marketplace, including the following:

  • Real estate
  • Writings
  • Household products and appliances
  • Toys
  • Shop and workplace tools
  • Medical devices
  • Implants
  • Farm and construction equipment
  • Machine guards
  • Boats (such as personal water crafts)
  • Life vests and diving boards
  • Motorcycles
  • Firearms
  • Screws or plates used on bones
  • Drugs or vaccines
  • Pesticides (such as chlordane)
  • Chemicals (such as those used in a workplace)
  • Animals

Automobiles also commonly are the source of products liability claims on some of the following grounds:

  • After crash fires
  • Restraint systems (such as seat belts)
  • Sudden acceleration
  • Steering or brake defects
  • Roof
  • Windows
  • Seat defects
  • Back over accidents
  • Crashworthiness

The three main types of product defects are: 

  • Manufacturing defect: A product has a manufacturing defect when something happened during the manufacturing process that caused this one product to be dangerously defective.  This type of defect is typically the easiest to notice because other identical products are not defective.  Many things can cause a manufacturing defect, such as faulty equipment on the manufacturing line, the manufacturer’s failure to check the quality of the finished product, or the use of substandard materials. 
  • Design defect: A product has a design defect when the product’s very design is fundamentally flawed, and the product is defective before it is ever manufactured.  If a product has a design defect, every single product manufactured according to this design will be similarly defective and dangerous.  Examples of products that commonly have design defects include swimming pools, helmets, and bicycles.
  • Defective warnings: Products must also carry clear and complete warnings of any reasonably foreseeable hazards.  Even if a product is safe in its design and manufacture, if the warnings and instructions are vague, incomplete, or fail to disclose a known risk associated with a product, the manufacturer can be held liable for any resulting damages.  Even if the danger was discovered after the product went on the market, the manager can sometimes also be held liable for failing to take steps to correct or add proper warnings. 

Products liability cases are often complex and require expert investigation and technical analysis.  If you have been seriously injured, or if a loved one has been killed by a defective product, it is important to hire an attorney who has experience litigating these cases and is dedicated to working tirelessly to build your case.  If you have been seriously injured by a defective product, contact The Todd Smith Law Firm today for a free initial consultation.   

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