Kansas City Defective Product Attorney
Dangerous products are a serious health concern in the United Sates. According to the United States CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission), consumer products are responsible for a startling number of injuries on an annual basis. In 2011, CPSC estimated that children's toys alone were responsible for 262,300 injuries. 92,200 of these incidents involved a child less than five years old.
Three type of product liability:
- Defective Design
- Defective Manufacturing
- Defective Marketing
Defective design occurs when the product is built correctly, but still poses an unnecessary risk to consumers. On the other hand, a manufacturing defect occurs when the product is built with a flaw that leads to an injury. The term "defective marketing" refers to any product that is labeled improperly or comes without proper instructions / warnings.
Product Liability & Negligence
When pursuing a product liability claim, it is likely that the case will involve either sheer negligence, strict liability or some sort of breach of warranty. Negligence is easily defined as the failure to exercise the necessary caution that a reasonable person would in the same circumstances. These cases rest on the foundation that the defendant had a duty of care to the plaintiff and then breached that duty, which directly caused the injury of the plaintiff. This can often be established through the "but for" test. For example, "but for the manufacturer using low-quality materials, the plaintiff would not have sustained their injury."
Understanding "Strict Liability"
The second is strict liability, which is commonly used in product liability cases. This is a certain standard which states that a person or entity is responsible for any damage caused by their actions or by the things that they created – regardless of actual fault. Under strict liability, the focus is placed on the product.
Even if the manufacturer did not behave negligently per se, they are held responsible for the product. When pursuing a case of strict liability, there is no need to establish what is considered a reasonable standard of conduct. Greenman v. Yuba Power Products is largely recognized as the first case to assert the doctrine of strict liability in 1964.
Justice Roger J. Traynor laid the foundation for that case in Escola v. Coca-Cola Bottling Co. when he said the following regarding defective products injuring innocent consumers:
"If such [defective] products nevertheless find their way into the market it is to the public interest to place the responsibility for whatever injury they may cause upon the manufacturer, who, even if he is not negligent in the manufacture of the product, is responsible for its reaching the market."
Since then, the strict liability doctrine has been expanded to include all parties who could be held responsible for allowing the defective product to find its way to the market. This could include the manufacturer, but could also include the distributor or the retailers. In some cases, it could even include the designer of the product. This, therefore, holds all parties responsible for any potential defects that could be found.
Breach of Warranty
The third type of claim which can be associated with product liability is a breach of warranty. A warranty is essentially a type of assurance from the manufacturer to the consumer that the product will be what was promised. In some cases, the breach of warranty can be in regards to an express warranty.
This is typically a warrant between the dealer, manufacturer or other contract seller and the buyer of the product to provide some level of repair or replacement. The breach of warranty can also be in regards to an implied warranty of merchantability; this is not expressly stated, but refers to the fact that goods are assumed to be fit for sale and use. The third can refer to a breach of implied warranty of fitness for purpose.
Injured in Kansas City? Our product liability attorneys can help!
If you have been injured by a defective or dangerous product and are looking for a high-quality legal professional to look out for your legal rights, you need not look any further than our firm. We know what is at stake and will do everything possible to ensure that your rights are protected to the full extent of the law. Want to know more about your rights?
Pick up the phone and call today at 888-507-7618.