When product manufacturers and designers create products that are defective or unsafe, often the flaws are manifested by injuries to the general public. In some cases, manufacturing defects and design flaws were known by the product manufacturers, yet greed prevented the necessary safety changes from being implemented.
Get help with a Chicago products liability claim today. We invite you to complete our on-line intake form for a free review of your case with an attorney who has experience with products liability lawsuits in Illinois. Our law office is committed to your success and has the experience and resources needed to get you the maximum compensation for your case. We regularly litigate Chicago products liability lawsuits in both State and Federal Courts and can provide a candid opinion of your situation so you can determine how to best proceed.
Dangerous products are prevalent in our everyday lives
Dangerous products are far more common than most of us would ever guess. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an agency that tracks defective products, estimates that almost 30 million people are injured as a result of dangerous products every year.
Products liability law encompasses many different type of cases, including some of the following:
- Home products: heaters, light bulbs, smoke alarms, ovens, etc.
- Automobile products: steering mechanisms, brakes, tires, etc.
- Medical devices: metal hip replacements, heart products, blood products, etc.
- Industrial products
- Toys and children’s products
Various legal theories for recovery in an Illinois products liability lawsuit
The type of product and the date it was designed or manufactured will determine how a case against the manufacturer will need to be pursued. Some products liability cases may be based on a breach of warranty, while other product liability cases may be pursued under a theory of strict liability.
Under either approach, the product manufacturer or other responsible parties (potentially designers, retailers, wholesalers or marketers) may be responsible for the resulting personal injuries or wrongful death that their products cause.
Breach of warranty
There are three kinds of breach of warranty that are generally pursued in product liability cases: express warranty, implied warranty of merchantability and implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose. These warranties are codified in the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) that was designed to give suggestions for laws related to commercial transactions.
- Express warranty. This refers to the promise by a seller that a product or service is guaranteed to have certain performance or quality standards. This can be spoken or written.
- Implied warranty of merchantability. Safety and quality concerns that are created and upheld by law are often under implied warranty of merchantability.
- Implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose. A warranty, verbal or written, where the buyer is assured a product is suitable for a specific purpose. Sellers can be liable for breach of warranty under this type when a product or service does not meet the promised warranty of fitness.
Theory of strict liability
In personal injury cases involving product liability often will use strict product liability to recover damages versus breach of warranty or negligence. In strict liability, it is not necessary to prove negligence but instead relies on showing that a product was defective before the seller or manufacturer released the product and that the defect caused the victim harm. There are three main types of defects that can be investigated:
- Design defects. This involves defective design in a product, meaning all products have the same issue. For example, a power tool that was designed without a safety guard that caused injury would be considered a design defect.
- Manufacturing defects. These are products that have safety issues that are due to manufacturing errors, not because of their initial design. McDonalds had such an error on 6 million Olympic commemorative cups that were manufactured with sharp edges, even though another 6 million cups were produced without the defect. In this case, it was a particular manufacturing site that caused the defect.
- Failure to warn. Products that can be unsafe when operated in a certain manner need have adequate warnings from the manufacturer or seller. This may be the case with a medication that may have dangerous side effects when combined with other medications or foods and there are no warnings to these effects.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers represents adults and children who have suffered injuries due to defective products in Illinois. We are committed to securing the most favorable recovery for them from all responsible parties.
Because the parties who may be responsible for your injuries may not be readily apparent until after a thorough investigation has been completed, we encourage you to contact the Chicago product liability attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers to begin an investigation into the matter as soon as feasible after discovery of the connection between the dangerous product and an injury.