Product Liability

Product liability is an area of personal injury law that focuses on dangerous and defective products. It is the area of law in which manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, and others who make products available to the public are held responsible for injuries those products cause. Although the word product has broad connotations, product liability as an area of law is traditionally limited to products in the form of tangible personal property.

There are three major types of product liability claims:

  • Manufacturing defect, which occurs in manufacturing and usually involves poor-quality materials or shoddy workmanship

  • Design defect, which occurs where the product design is inherently dangerous or useless, and fails expectations on what is a safe product, whereby its risks outweigh its benefits

  • Failure-to-warn (also known as marketing) defects, which arise in products that carry inherent non-obvious dangers which could be mitigated through adequate warnings to the user, and these dangers are present regardless of how well it is manufactured

It is not uncommon for manufacturers to produce and distribute products that cause health issues or even death for consumers. When a company fails to disclose warnings about the possible health hazards or when it tries to minimize the dangers, the public can be harmed from defective materials. Samples of such medical device and drug-related cases include:

  • Celebrex®

  • Avandia®

  • Hormone therapy

  • Birth control pills

  • Vioxx®

  • Oxycontin®

  • Botox®

  • Fosamax®

  • Dilantin®

  • IVC filters

  • Transvaginal mesh

  • Hip implants

  • Implantable defibrillators

  • Industrial-grade silicone breast implants

  • IV pumps