Given the pandemic and self-isolation, consumers are spending more time shopping for products online. It’s not easy to tell which products are well tested and which ones are not. We all assume that products are safe and manufacturers, distributors, marketers, etc. have some level of responsibility to provide safe products. If you are injured as a result of a consumer product, you may be able to file suit against some or all of those parties. Here are some things you should know about product liability cases involving personal injuries.
Basis for Product Liability Claims
The first thing you should consider is whether you used the product as intended and according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you blatantly ignored warning labels, then it can be difficult to hold anyone else accountable. However, if you used the product as intended or in a way that the manufacturer should have foreseen, then you may have grounds for a claim. You may also need to show that you weren’t aware of any product dangers. Using a product that you know is defective and/or dangerous will work against your case.
Types of Product Liability Cases
There are a few ways to approach the legal grounds for product liability cases. You can claim breach of implied warranty, negligence, or violation of Chapter 93A. Let’s take a closer look at each one of these.
Breach of Implied Warranty
This is the most common type of product liability case. It covers quite a broad set of circumstances including defects caused at any point in the supply chain. For instance, the original design may be defective, the manufacturing process may have used poor materials, or the distribution process somehow altered the product and made it unsafe. Failing to warn consumers about dangers related to a product also falls under an implied warranty.
Negligence goes beyond poor design, manufacturing, etc. To argue negligence, you must first prove that the other party had a duty to provide some level of reasonable care to you (as a consumer) and failed to do so. Negligence can involve overt acts, such as ignoring or attempting to hide known dangers or even product defects. It’s also worth noting that multiple parties can share in negligence.
Massachusetts consumer protection laws, also known as Chapter 93A, cover unfair or deceptive practices. It, therefore, goes beyond personal injuries from product use, such as bait and switch advertising, misleading pricing, or inaccurate warranty representations. Chapter 93A cases can result in double or triple damages awarded.
What to Do With Product Liability Cases Involving Personal Injuries
Product liability is among the most complex of personal injury cases. It requires medical information on injuries sustained, proof that the use of a product caused those injuries, and meeting the legal standards for the particular type of product liability case you are filing. It is therefore important to hire an attorney with experience in litigating such cases. If you believe that you have a valid product liability case, contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our Massachusetts attorneys. Will will review your case and provide valuable tips and insight on how to best proceed.