Who Can Be Held Liable for Defective Products

Who Can Be Held Liable for Defective Products?

Who Can Be Held Liable for Defective Products

As a consumer, you place a great deal of trust in the products you buy and the companies that produce them. It is not uncommon for a person to find one brand of a particular product and stick with it, essentially forming a relationship with that brand because it has proven itself time and time again. But what happens when the brands or products that we know and love—and trust—let us down?


Recently, Kraft recalled 6.5 million boxes of Mac and Cheese after consumers reported finding shards of metal in the boxes. A few months ago, a woman in Texas reported that she bit into a metal object while eating M&Ms. Unfortunately these are not isolated incidents. Accidents like these do happen from time to time, even from major companies like Kraft and Mars. But should major companies bear all the blame themselves?


If you have suffered in any way as a result of a defective product, you need to know that there are more parties involved than you may think.


Product Defects: Who is to Blame?


Generally, we think of defective products as corporations’ problems. If a consumer finds bits of metal in a box of Mac and Cheese, most people’s minds will jump first to Kraft, the company behind the product. But what about the store where the product was purchased? And what about the distributor that supplied the product to the store? Can these parties—or others—be held accountable? Yes, they can.


In fact, any party that is involved with a product before the product reaches the consumer can be held liable for a defective product. Typically, there are three parties who could be to blame:


  • The manufacturer
  • The wholesaler
  • The distributor


All of these parties can be equally liable in a defective product case. By selling their products, each of the above parties either explicitly or implicitly ensures the consumer that the product is safe and ready for use. If any supposedly safe product results in your harm or bodily injury, each or all of these three parties has essentially let down their end of the deal.


Receiving Compensation


South Florida Product Liability Attorney

A defective product claim may fall under one of three categories:


  1. Strict product liability, where a plaintiff does not need to prove direct negligence on the part of the manufacturer or seller but must only show that a certain product was defective
  2. Negligence, where the consumer must prove that he or she sustained harm as a result of a product failing to operate as it was supposed to
  3. Breach of warranty, where a consumer can show that a certain product performed in a way that went against its stated or implied warranty


Each of these categories comes with a number of nuances and details, all of which a knowledgeable attorney will be able to discuss with you in detail.


In a product liability case, it’s important to remember that your case is not about choosing one party to deem responsible and bear the brunt of the blame and all the associated consequences. On the contrary, it is simply about holding responsible parties accountable. To ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve and to ensure that the responsible parties improve their practices for the future, it is imperative that you take action.


If you have experienced a defective product that has caused you harm in any way, you deserve justice. Contact the lawyers at The South Florida Injury Law Firm today to start fighting for the compensation that you deserve.


Keurig Coffee Maker Product Liability Lawyer

Burned by Keurig? You’re Not the Only One

Keurig Coffee Maker Product Liability Lawyer
As many of us have learned from stepping on a child’s seemingly innocent Lego—sometimes, it’s life’s most wonderful pleasures that bring the most agonizing pain.


Sadly, hundreds of individuals were brought to this conclusion yet again after being burned by their Keurig machines while waiting for their coffee to brew. As NBC recently reported, Keurig is currently recalling almost 7 million coffee makers that were produced between 2009 and 2014. The company stated that it had received about 200 reports from users stating that scalding hot water inexplicably sprayed from their machines. Ninety of these incidents resulted in burn-related injuries.


Product Defects


This is a huge recall for Keurig, the coffee brewing company that has become a household name for many Americans. But large-scale recalls like this are far from unheard of, even for major corporations.


In 1982, Tylenol recalled approximately 31 million bottles after 13 people died after taking the iconic pills (an event that eerily predicts our current problem with prescription drug defects). In 2007, 1 million Easy Bake Ovens were recalled after Hasbro received several complaints about young children being burned on the toy. And just last year, car manufacturer GM recalled approximately 26 million cars with faulty ignition switches that had led to 31 auto accidents.


Is any company—or product—safe from recalls? Unfortunately, probably not. There are simply too many things that can go wrong in the assembly process that can result in products being defective in any number of ways.


Boca Raton Product Recall Attorney

Product recalls are generally a result of one of three types of defects:


  1. Design flaws. Design flaws are generally those that permeate all products in a certain line, because the problem is inherent in the very blueprint of the product. Design flaws are present in products even if they were manufactured perfectly.
  2. Manufacturing flaws. Manufacturing flaws are those that occur as a result of a manufacturing error – a mistake made during the physical process of building the product. These defects are usually only present in one type of product—that is, one particular product that had to undergo a specialized manufacturing process—and do not apply to an entire product line.
  3. Failure to provide adequate warning. This is the most easily avoidable type of defect. So-called “failure to warn” defects are those that fail to provide adequate notice about the proper way to use a certain product. These defects are particularly dangerous on products that can be seriously damaging to the user if used improperly, such as power tools or large appliances.


Because any of the above product defects can result in harm to you or your family, and because manufacturers have a duty to create products that won’t cause harm when being used properly, it is vital that you hold them responsible.


What Can You Do?


Unfortunately, product defects can sometimes result in serious personal injury. From minor bruises as a result of an improperly assembled chair to severe physical injuries and even death that can occur due to an improperly manufactured brake pedal.


Even if you find yourself going up against a large corporation, don’t be afraid to stand firm and defend yourself. Companies have a responsibility to consumers to keep them safe, and if any company fails to do so, you need to fight back both to keep something like this from happening to another person and to get the compensation you need to adequately cover your pain, suffering, and expenses. Contact the law offices of The South Florida Injury Law Firm today and get the justice you deserve.


About the Author:

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his 22-year career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for The South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.


Boca Raton Product Liability Lawyer

Defective Gifts May Cause More Than a Return Hassle

Boca Raton Product Liability Lawyer

The holiday season is over. We’ve all eaten too much horrible, delicious food, entertained relatives well past their expiration date, listened to Michael Bublé for the first time in a year, and (hopefully) found the perfect gifts for everyone on our list. Lights, trees, menorahs, and other artifacts of the season are soon to come down, if they haven’t already, and most of us are ready to move on.


But not quite yet. We’re still trying on new clothes and playing with toys made for kids of all ages, and many of us may even be planning a trip to the store to return or exchange something (remember to bring your photo ID, because this year retailers are really trying to crack down on return fraud).


And then there are those for whom the hassle of remembering to bring a license would be a luxury. They received something that ended up being defective. If they’re lucky, that just meant that it was broken in some way and didn’t do what they wanted. But if they’re unlucky, it’s quite possible that the defect in the product may have caused harm to them or someone they love. In extreme cases, people have even been killed by product defects.


What do you do if this has happened to you? Get in touch with a defective products attorney as soon as possible and document everything as thoroughly as possible. These kinds of cases can be complicated and contentious, so the more evidence you have and the earlier you can start building a case, the better off you are.


How Do You Know If a Product Is Defective?


Boca Defective Product Attorney

Dealing with a defective product can be scary, dangerous, and difficult, but there are ways that you can protect yourself and stay out of this situation. The first and easiest is to head to Recalls.gov and look to see if a product you have is on the list and why. But because a product doesn’t have to be recalled to be dangerous, and because companies sometimes fight back even after a recall is made, it can also be smart to do a Google search for problems with your specific item. You might be shocked to discover that several people have complained or written reviews about something that seems like a serious problem for a product that’s still readily available – this kind of thing happens all the time.


So, what should you look for if you’re worried about a particular product but there’s nothing out there – yet – that speaks to a specific problem with it? Since we’re talking about things received around the holidays, let’s take a look at toys specifically. Many toys will have labels warning you about potential problems, but often these are incomplete because the manufacturers simply don’t account for all of the creative ways that kids can hurt themselves.


Loose parts. If a toy easily comes apart – even if the effect is intentional – be wary. Small parts can be choking hazards, and large parts may end up causing cuts.


Zippered animals. Some stuffed animals come with zippers that allow access to the “stuffing” part of the toy. Presumably, this is so parents can easily refill the animal if the need arises, but it also provides easy access to young fingers, and if your little one gets the stuffing out, it’s going one of two places – on the floor, or in their mouth. If the latter occurs, it’s a choking hazard.


Cords. Lots of toys have strings or cords, and in theory they’ve been designed with strict safety standards mind, but that doesn’t mean they can’t accidentally strangle your child. Keep close watch.


Balloons. Why are balloons dangerous? You guessed it – because kids can choke on them. This is actually an incredibly problematic item, because even older kids can choke to death if a latex balloon gets caught in their throat.


Chemicals. Who puts chemicals in kids’ toys? Lots of manufacturers. Most people know to watch out for lead paint, but toxic chemicals have also been found in things like chalk, toy jewelry, and more.


West Palm Beach Product Liability Attorney

Electronics. All electronic toys are potentially dangerous because you likely won’t be able to tell if there is a manufacturing or design defect until it is too late and they suffer a burn or the device shocks them.


Anything small. Young children put things in their mouths. It’s a universal truth. So if they receive any gift with small parts that might lodge in their throats – especially parts that look enticing in some way – either keep them away or only let them use the toy in your presence.


Of course, it’s not possible to know about many defects in advance, and the vast majority of products out there are completely safe. The best thing that you can do is to keep an eye on toys – especially new ones – when your child is playing with them, and simply know your son or daughter. If they act oddly every time they interact with a specific toy, something is probably going on and you should talk to a skilled attorney.