Chicago Product Liability Lawyer
As a consumer in Cook County, you expect purchased products in the Chicago area to not be unreasonably dangerous. But what do you do when you suffer serious injuries from a product? You file a product liability lawsuit. You may be entitled to recover compensation for the harm you have suffered.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys help victims with injuries caused through negligence recover damages for what they endured.
Call our experienced Chicago products liability attorneys at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call). Our contact form sends information to our legal team to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our personal injury lawyers remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
What Is Product Liability?
Product responsibility is a legal doctrine that holds producers and other parties involved in a product's supply chain accountable for any injuries, fatalities, or damages brought on by their reckless or willful actions concerning the defective product.
There are three general theories of product liability:
- Negligence in defective consumer products occurs when the defendant should have known or knew a flaw in the product but did nothing to protect the public.
- Strict responsibility: Regardless of whether they knew or should have known that the product was unsafe, manufacturers can be held accountable for defective and dangerous products leading to serious injuries and preventable death.
- Breach of warranty: A stated or implied assurance that the goods will be secure and free from flaws, as well as a failure to provide proper warning labels.
Cases Involving Dangerous or Defective Consumer Products
Defective product claims can stem from two critical factors:
Any product with a flawed design creates an unsafe or dangerous situation. Unfortunately, many design flaws are not identified until after a wholesaler or distributor sells a defective product that harms individuals.
Under strict liability laws, all parties harmed by a dangerous, defective product can seek financial compensation and ensure manufacturers and distributors are held responsible for life-threatening injuries.
Many consumers purchase products without knowing the manufacturing defect's hazards in the product's design or fabrication. Under the law, the injured parties can file claims by suing the manufacturer or distributor for any defective, dangerous product.
Hundreds of thousands of product liability claims have been filed against manufacturers over the decades. As a result, the designer, manufacturer, distributor, and reseller can be held legally responsible for selling a faulty product or failing to protect customers.
How We Can Assist with Your Liability Claim
The basics of the law are that manufacturers and sellers cannot place dangerous products into the "stream of commerce." Product liability law specifies that manufacturing and design defects could make manufacturers and sellers liable to victims who sustained injuries.
Illinois law applies a statute of limitations to liability lawsuits. With a personal injury lawsuit, you have two years from the date of the incident to file. Regarding property damage in your claim, you have five years from the date of the incident to file.
Our attorneys can help you file your case for consumer products and other dangerous items you have bought.
Speak to an experienced attorney to schedule a free review regarding your case and legal issues. Let us determine if your claim will allow financial compensation for your injuries. Our law firm will keep you fully aware of the progress in your case throughout the entire process.
Common Product Liability Lawsuits
- Motor vehicles: Manufacturers must make sure their products are safe to drive. Car makers may not thoroughly test their products or fully address known safety issues, resulting in car flaws. Typical and dangerous auto flaws that can lead to a car accident include the following failures:
- Failures of the braking systems cause a car accident with other motor vehicles
- Rollover-related roof collapses or other structural problems
- Faulty fuel system
- Defective car seats and seat belts
- Door latches that are defective and cause occupant ejection
- Blowouts and the separation of the tire tread could hit the other driver
- Toys and children's products: Toy safety laws were implemented to prevent fatalities or severe injuries. However, flaws that are disregarded or even kept a secret from the public may endanger the safety of children.
- Faulty machinery or power tools: Power tool accidents can be severe and cause horrible injuries to workers in various sectors. Construction, oil and gas, agriculture, landscaping and tree care, manufacturing, roofing, and home improvement are the industries with the highest rate of power tool injuries.
- Faulty medical device: Because the health of those who utilize medical components/ devices may already be damaged, even little device faults or difficulties might have catastrophic results. Even worse, several seemingly minor mistakes can make medical equipment dangerous.
- Unsafe pharmaceuticals and toxic chemicals: When medicines are inadequately tested, poorly produced, or inappropriately marketed, consumers may suffer permanent and even fatal injuries.
- Food poisoning hurts people who suffer from food tainted with various viruses and bacteria. Consumers may have the right to hold negligent food distributors, such as grocery stores or restaurants, liable for their acts.
Many who have sustained life-threatening injuries from defective products seek immediate medical care. The defective product might involve a failure to warn, product hazards, or broken/missing parts.
Defective Products We Use Every day
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) uses the law to reduce the risk of severe injuries or death caused by dangerous products. The commission develops the industry's voluntary standards and issues and enforces mandatory regulations.
When a product is identified as defective, the agency bans the consumer product to protect the public from serious injury: the commission posts many statistics and technical reports categorizing different products used by American consumers online.
Product Liability Litigation
Did a dangerous or defective product injure you or a family member? You may be able to file a dangerous product claim based on strict liability. A product liability claim can be filed against the product's manufacturer, the retailer, or both.
A product liability lawsuit requires proving that the product was defective and that the defect caused your injuries. Potential defendants in dangerous and defective products claims might include all those involved in the defective product's chain of distribution and use, such as:
- The product manufacturer that designed and manufactured the product, drug, or medical component/devices
- The party responsible for identifying all potential problems on the packaging warning labels
- The company's marketing department advertises the product as safe to use through an express warranty
- The distributor that made the defective product available in the marketplace
- The doctor who recommended the dangerous product (medical malpractice)
- The surgeon who implanted the product (medical malpractice involved in cases with medical parts/devices, resulting in injury or death)
- Any other party involved in the legal matter of when the defective product was in the design and manufacturing process until its use
Since many parties could be defendants in numerous personal injury claims, your legal action could get more complex during the settlement process. Make sure to have a knowledgeable product liability lawyer fighting for your compensation to get the amount you deserve.
Defective Products and Multi-district Litigation in the United States
Multi-district litigation (MDL) is a consolidated civil action filed in federal district court. This case involves many parties and claims arising from the same event. In some cases, there are hundreds of different products involved. For example, a class action suit involving defective cars could involve thousands of vehicles.
An MDL consolidates similar lawsuits into one federal district court. If the judge approves, it becomes known as multidistrict litigation. MDLs allow plaintiffs to file a single complaint against multiple defendants. They are typically used to streamline complex litigation.
Houston MDL attorneys can help you navigate through this complicated process. Our team can provide assistance in selecting the best venue for your case. We can assist you in determining whether or not you qualify for an MDL. And we can help you determine how to proceed once you've been selected for an MDL.
What Is Multi-district Litigation?
Multidistrict litigation is a method used to efficiently resolve complex disputes involving many plaintiffs. All parties involved agree to consolidate the cases in one court. This allows the judge to oversee the entire process.
Multi-district litigation aims to streamline the legal process while allowing each party to pursue their individual claim.
What Is Discovery?
Discovery is an essential component of litigation. It involves gathering evidence, conducting interviews, and requesting information from opposing parties. Discovery is typically done during the pretrial stage of a lawsuit.
Discovery gathers facts about the case, including what happened, how it happened, and why. Discovery helps lawyers determine whether there are grounds for filing suit.
Depositions and Interrogatories
Depositions are a form of discovery involving questioning witnesses under oath. They are often taken in person, although they can also be recorded via video conference.
Interrogatories are another type of discovery tool. These questions are sent to opposing counsel and ask for specific information. Requests for the production of documents seek out certain types of records.
For example, a request for the production of documents might ask for financial statements, emails, medical reports, and other items related to the case.
Goals of MDL
MDL is a way to manage multiple lawsuits involving similar issues or claims, such as:
- Product liability
- Patent infringement
- Copyright infringement
- Trademark infringement
- Unfair competition
- Trade secret misappropriation
This process involves coordinating discovery, scheduling trials, and resolving disputes over legal fees.
The goal of MDL is to reduce duplication of effort and costs while improving efficiency. In addition, it helps avoid inconsistent rulings across different courts.
Kinds of Cases Subject to MDL
Multidistrict litigation is a process where multiple lawsuits involving similar issues are consolidated into one federal court.
The process allows the judge overseeing the case to make rulings that apply to all parties involved. In some instances, it makes sense to consolidate cases because there are common questions about liability and damages. However, it can also avoid duplicative discovery and save money.
There are many different kinds of multi-district litigations. Here are three examples:
This litigation involves large groups of people affected by a single event, such as a chemical spill or a natural disaster. For example, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground off Alaska in 1989, spilling millions of gallons of crude oil onto beaches and wildlife habitats.
Thousands of plaintiffs filed suit against ExxonMobil, claiming that the company failed to properly maintain the ship and warn of potential hazards. A group of those cases was eventually combined into one federal district court.
Product Defect Class Actions
This litigation is typically brought by consumers who claim that a product manufacturer did not adequately test or inspect the item before selling it. For example, if you purchased a defective car, you could sue General Motors for negligence.
You might even win a big settlement. But what happens if someone else buys the same car from another dealership? They, too, could file a lawsuit against GM.
To prevent this duplication, courts have allowed companies to bring together all claims related to a specific vehicle model.
When a patent holder sues a competitor, the defendant usually counters claims that the plaintiff infringed upon his or her patents. Sometimes, however, both sides agree that the products are very similar and that the patents cover the same technology. In that situation, the parties may ask the court to combine the cases into one trial.
How MDL Works
Multidistrict litigation (MDL) is a mass tort litigation that combines several individual lawsuits into one case. MDLs allow multiple plaintiffs to join forces and sue a single defendant.
The purpose of MDL is to streamline the judicial system by combining multiple cases involving similar legal claims into one trial.
To decide whether a set of cases should be consolidated under MDL, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation must determine if the cases share sufficient similarities.
When deciding whether to consolidate cases under MDL, judges look at many different factors, such as:
- Whether the cases share similar questions of fact
- Whether the cases involve the same issue of law
- Whether the cases arise from the same event or transaction
Pros and Cons of MDL Proceedings
Multidistrict litigation (MDL) allows multiple parties to join in one case. This process can save money and time because it eliminates duplicative discovery and trial preparation. However, there are some drawbacks to MDL proceedings.
For example, MDLs can cause witness testimony to become inconsistent. In addition, MDLs can make settlement negotiations difficult because each party must consider how much they want to pay out versus what they stand to gain.
Defective Products/Mass Tort Litigation Attorneys
Mass tort litigation involves many different types of injuries caused by defective products. Lawyers specializing in mass torts will handle these cases differently from a general practice attorney.
Some attorneys don't even understand what it takes to litigate these cases.
Knee Replacement Surgeries Are Increasing Due to An Aging Population
A recent study found knee replacements are increasing among people over 65 because of osteoarthritis. There were nearly 400,000 total knee replacements performed in 2019 alone.
While most patients recover well, some experience complications such as infections, nerve damage, and blood clots. These complications can cause long-term problems like chronic pain, loss of function, and even death.
Hernia Mesh Lawsuits Are Growing
In 2012, Johnson & Johnson recalled certain Prolene hernia mesh implants after reports surfaced of serious complications, including bowel obstructions, fistulas, and deaths.
Johnson & Johnson paid $2 billion to settle hundreds of thousands of claims related to the implant. Now, another manufacturer, Ethicon Inc., faces similar allegations.
Automobile Rollovers Are on The Rise
According to AAA, automobile rollovers have been up 13% since 2013. The reason? Drivers are distracted by cell phones, texting, and GPS navigation systems.
The US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
The United States Judicial Panel on Multidisciplinary Litigation (JPML) was established in 1970 to consolidate mass tort litigation into fewer cases. Its goal is to centralize pretrial discovery and other proceedings in one location.
There are many benefits to having a centralized trial. For example, it allows parties to conduct discovery in one place rather than across multiple locations. It also makes it easier to manage complex cases because there is less paperwork involved. And finally, it helps ensure that the same judge presides over all related trials.
Legal Theories of Recovery
There are two possible recovery methods in product liability lawsuits. First, under products liability law, the way that you are entitled to compensation is strict liability.
Here, it does not matter whether the manufacturer exercised due care in making the product.
Secondly, under a negligence theory, the injured party must show that the manufacturer or seller was negligent in making the product (i.e., didn't check if the car seats were adequately working).
Proving the case might involve showing that the company did not exercise due care in creating the product, that the product was not fit for its intended use, or that the design or manufacturing process led to a defective or dangerous product.
Every Chicago product liability lawyer from our law firm provides legal representation in numerous practice areas, including medical negligence, product recall injuries, car accident case, product liability, nursing home abuse, harmful drugs, trucking crashes, and wrongful death.
The Negligence Theory of A Product Liability Claim
Even if you cannot show that the manufacturer should be strictly liable for your injuries, the law still allows you to recover damages in lawsuits. Here, you need to show that you were injured by the manufacturers' or sellers' negligence.
Just like any other personal injury case, you would need to prove the following:
- The manufacturer (defendant) owed you the duty of care, such as when you are buying a product from the seller or maker offering two warranties: an express warranty and an implied warranty
- The manufacturer breached the duty of care by acting unreasonably (breach of warranty due to a defective design)
- The faulty or dangerous product caused injury
- You would not have been injured but for the actions of the defendant
The manufacturer and their best lawyers will always try to show that their product is safe, or at least that it is not dangerous. Our Illinois personal injury attorneys can help prove that the defendant acted unreasonably.
Product Liability Claims
As a consumer, you likely have many home products you use daily. You trust that these products are safe to use and will not cause you any harm.
However, sometimes manufacturers make mistakes in the design or production of their products, leading to defective and dangerous goods and products that result in consumer injuries.
If a dangerous or defective product has injured you, you may be able to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer and their insurance company.
Contact our personal injury attorneys from the Chicago, IL, law office today for a free case consultation regarding your legal issue. We specialize in product liability lawsuits and can assist you as you seek compensation for injuries sustained, lost wages, and medical bills.
Defective Products and Wrongful Death
Surviving families who lost a loved one from a defective device, toy or product can pursue a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death occurs when someone dies due to negligence or a defective product that caused the person's death.
These preventable death cases are filed against manufacturers and distributors whose products can cause injury or death. In many cases, these companies may be required to pay damages to the survivors for medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
It's important to remember that when pursuing a compensation claim, you need an experienced product liability attorney who understands how to bring your case to court. An experienced lawyer can help you build a strong case to receive the compensation you deserve for your loss.
The Statute of Limitation in Product Liability Cases
Statutes of limitation are laws that set a time limit for filing product liability cases. In most states, the statute of limitations for liability defect cases is two or three years from the date of injury or death, depending on your state's law.
It's also important to note that these statutes can vary greatly depending on the type of case. For example, if you live in a state with an extended statute of limitations for medical device claims, you may have more time to file your lawsuit.
Hire Chicago Product Liability Attorneys to Resolve Your Compensation Claim
You need an attorney to handle your product liability case from start to finish, working with the experts to help prove your personal injury claim.
You must prove your entitlement to receive financial compensation:
- The product that you bought was defective
- The product was unreasonably dangerous when used for the purpose intended
- That product injured you
- You did not use the product in an unintended manner
- Your injuries are provable
In addition, you might have to deal with the insurance company to claim your damages, which is always full of bureaucracy and hardship since they don't intend to make it more accessible.
You may be pressured by the manufacturer or insurance company to settle your case for less than you deserve, so it is essential to understand the full extent of your losses. The personal injury lawsuit process begins when you call an attorney in our Chicago, IL, law firm to schedule your free consultation.
Building A Product Liability Case
- Your legal team will ask questions about your products liability claim. Our firm's Chicago product liability lawyers determine whether the law would support compensation and discuss your rights and options.
- Then, your personal injury attorney will begin your case by filing a complaint with the court that lays out the facts and why the manufacturer or seller should be made to pay for your harm.
- Before the trial begins, your case will have a phase of discovery where the two parties will exchange documents and take depositions. The evidence and testimony throughout this process will further help our firm build your case.
- Finally, your legal case will go to trial or move to resolve the matter through a negotiated settlement. Your Chicago product liability lawyers will call witnesses and present the evidence.
Going to Trial
Your trial begins with the selection of a jury. Your Chicago, IL, product liability attorney will question potential jurors about their knowledge of the case and any biases they may have. The questioning is called voir dire, and it is essential to have an attorney who knows what to ask:
- Once the jury is selected, your product liability trial will thoroughly investigate the faulty product
- Determine whether the company that made or sold the product can be held liable for your injuries
- Calculate the damages you should receive for medical bills, hospital costs, lost income, etc.
- Present your case clearly and persuasively to the jury so that they award you a verdict in your favor
The jury will decide whether the defendant has to pay for the injuries and damages caused by the dangerous product and lost income, usually paid by the defendant's insurer.
Product Liability Lawyer FAQs
Our defective product injury lawyers understand that many families have unanswered questions concerning product defects and how to take legal action against the manufacturer and others. A products liability attorney answered some of the most commonly asked questions below.
Call our law office at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form for more information to schedule a free case evaluation.
Will a product liability lawsuit pay all my medical bills and other expenses if a defective product injures me?
A lawsuit can help you recover financial compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, the amount you receive will depend on the facts of your case, the extent of your serious injury, and state civil tort laws.
To learn more, speak with a product liability attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC at (888) 424-5757. Negotiated settlements can recover compensation for medical expenses, hospital costs, lost income, pain, suffering, and other damages.
What are my legal options for my injuries sustained by a product defect?
You can file a product liability lawsuit. Numerous federal agencies have initiated product recalls due to defective and dangerous devices, toys, and products. Some recalls include:
- Cars and trucks with defective tires and faulty brake pads
- Defective tools used by construction workers, including nail guns
- Dangerous medicine, including Zantac, Pradaxa, and Xarelto
- Incorrectly labeled food products, including contaminated ground beef
- Defective household products, including strollers, cribs, and pressure cookers
- Medical devices, including hip implants, vaginal mesh, and blood pressure cuffs
- Dangerous toys, including parts with lead-based paint
Strict liability rules under Illinois law allow injured victims legal rights not to have to prove that the product's manufacturer, seller, or distributor was negligent and knew about the defect before the injury.
Do you believe you were injured due to a defective product? If so, speak with an experienced defect injury attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC. Our lawyers can review your case and determine the best legal options for obtaining financial compensation. Call us today at (888) 424-5757.
What are strict liability laws concerning product defects?
Strict liability laws make the manufacturer, seller, or distributor of a defective product liable for any injuries it causes, regardless of whether they were aware of the defect. The law protects consumers injured by product defects when the designer or manufacturer breached their duty to maintain safe, properly functioning products, even if the product was sold with an implied warranty.
Under Illinois law, injured consumers are eligible for damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering from defective and dangerous products. Our experienced product liability lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can help you understand your rights and file a successful claim. Call us today at (888) 424-5757 to discuss how to seek compensation and the settlement process.
What products are part of multi-district litigation to protect injured consumers?
The following products are part of multi-district litigation to protect injured consumers:
- Automobiles with defective tires or brake pads
- Tools with faulty design
- Contaminated food products
- Household appliances with dangerous defects
- Medical devices and drugs with harmful side effects
What is considered a defective item?
A defective item is generally considered to be any product that causes injury to the consumer due to a flaw or design defect. The product may have been improperly manufactured, or it may have had a design flaw that was not discovered until after it was released to the public.
According to Consumer Reports, product liability claims are rising due to defective items such as:
- Electronic toys
- Baby products
- Medication errors
- Defective appliances
- Faulty wiring and electrical equipment
- Dangerous machinery tools
- Hazardous household chemicals
Who is responsible for product defects?
The manufacturer, seller, or distributor of a defective product is liable for any injuries it causes, regardless of whether they were aware of the defect.
Under strict liability, anyone in the product's distribution chain is responsible for any harm it causes, regardless of negligence. This includes:
- The manufacturer
Injured victims can seek compensation from all parties in the product's distribution chain.
What is the major defect in consumer products?
The major defect in consumer products is that they can often be very dangerous and cause serious injuries, even death. Liability laws hold the manufacturer, seller, or distributor of a defective product responsible for any injuries it causes, regardless of whether they were aware of the defect.
Liability can include anyone in the product's distribution chain, from the manufacturer to the retailer.
Categories of defects that can lead to product liability cases include design defects, manufacturing defects, and inadequate warnings or instructions. Common dangerous products include:
- Defective auto parts
- Children's toys
- Industrial machinery
- Medical devices
- Prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals
- Food products
- Household appliances
Contact a Reputable Chicago Personal Injury Law Firm to Resolve Your Product Liability Case
Did a defective product injure you, or did you lose a family member through another's negligence? Call our law firm today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free review to discuss your legal options.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our strict product liability attorneys handle cases for our clients who suffer severe consequences caused by defective devices and products. We will hold the product maker liable for the manufacturer's negligence due to their failure to warn consumers of their product defects.
Family members who lost a loved one through a product defect, product recalls, medical malpractice, or dangerous prescription drugs can file a wrongful death lawsuit through a great lawyer.
Our personal injury attorneys represent plaintiffs throughout Illinois, Chicago, IL, Dupage County, Kane County, and Lake County.
Our law firm offers clients a "No Win/No-Fee" guarantee in all injury practice areas. This guarantee ensures that you will not pay our legal fees if we cannot obtain compensation on your behalf.
Contact us for a free review and case evaluation.
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