The Basics of Products Liability Claims
Many everyday products can cause serious injury — whether it’s tainted packaged food and drink or defective household appliances. Once you suffer a serious injury, a product recall may be “too little, too late” for you. However, you can recover compensation for your injuries via a products liability lawsuit — which commonly involves claims for inadequate labeling, faulty manufacturing and defective design.
A design defect claim is based on the intrinsic danger of the item as designed, even if made-to-order per the manufacturer's specifications. One example is a car model with an engine that tends to catch fire whenever driving over 50 miles per hour. Since most people normally drive at this speed and above, the car is intrinsically dangerous. If you purchased the car with that defect and got hurt while driving over that speed, you have a legitimate defective design claim.
A plaintiff pursuing a manufacturer defect claim argues that the product is defective due to mistakes made during the product's creation. The problem could stem from an ill-conceived manufacturing process, or the use of substandard ingredients or poor workmanship. One example is a batch of cold and flu medicine containing hazardous substances. Products that successfully meet minimum manufacturing standards might still be defective.
A claim for a labeling defect argues that the manufacture failed to give appropriate warnings or instructions about a product’s suitable use or potential danger. Use of the product may present hidden dangers to the user and require unique precautions for its safe utilization. One example is allergy medicine that fails to contain a warning about the hazards of using it in conjunction with other commonly used over-the-counter medicines.
Oklahoma products liability cases are generally governed by the laws of strict liability. This means that in order to receive compensation for product-caused injuries, a plaintiff need not prove that the manufacturer was negligent in designing or manufacturing the faulty product, but only that the product's design or manufacturing defects caused the plaintiff’s injury.
Your case might involve multiple defect claims and several at-fault parties. You must consider every party that was involved in the product’s journey from manufacturer to seller to you. This can include:
- Design consultants
By pursuing compensation against multiple parties, where applicable, you can increase your potential of obtaining an award that adequately compensates you for injuries suffered from a defective product.
If a defective product injured you in Oklahoma, contact our experienced Tulsa products liability attorneys at The Barkett Law Firm for a free consultation.