Can I Sue for a Faulty Product?

Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley
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Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley

Although “faulty” doesn’t necessarily mean “defective” or “dangerous,” product liability law does indeed hold manufacturers and others liable for producing dangerous products that cause injury. Product liability claims in Florida can be long and complicated, primarily due to the task of finding those parties that can be sued.

Who Can Be Sued For Product Liability in Florida? 

Generally speaking, claims may be brought against any person or entity within the chain of design, manufacture, distribution, and sales of defective or dangerous products.  

If you or a loved one has been injured or even killed because of a defective product, including a defective medical device, let an experienced Florida product liability attorney help you with these complicated claims.

Establishing Fault in Florida Product Liability Claims

In Florida, product liability claims are based on two theories:

  • Negligence. Negligence means that some manufacturer’s accidental mistake was the direct cause of your injuries.
  • Strict Liability: Strict liability means even if the manufacturer didn’t cause your injuries directly, the product was defective in a way that caused your injuries.

You can show strict liability in one of four ways, assuming you used the product in a way it was reasonably intended to be used:

  1. Defective design,
  2. Defective manufacturing (composition or construction),
  3. Nonconformity to an express warranty, and/or
  4. A failure to adequately warn.

Defective Design

In defective design claims, the victim claims the manufacturer intended that the product be designed in the way it was, but the risk of the dangerous design outweighed the benefits of such design. For example, say a company sells a rocking chair that is designed to allow people to rock with their feet up, but when anyone over 150 lbs. tries to rock with their feet up, the chair tips over backward, causing serious head injuries. This is a design defect,

Defective Manufacturing

In defective manufacturing claims, the victim claims even if the product was safely designed, a manufacturing process defect caused the product to be unsafe; in other words,  mistakes in the manufacturing process made the product unsafe. Say, for example, a company sells a lawnmower that has a safety shield that lowers when the lawnmower is moving across concrete instead of grass, reducing the number of small rocks thrown off by the mower. However, a flaw in the manufacturing process prevents the shield from dropping as designed, and people are being injured by flying rocks.

Nonconformity with an Express Warranty

In nonconformity claims, the victim claims a product was unreasonably dangerous because it didn’t conform to an express warranty made at any time by the manufacturer regarding the

product, the warranty is what led the victim to use the product, and the damage occurred because the warranty was untrue. For example, say an elderly woman sees a foldable cane on TV one night that has a five-year express warranty and knows her current cane only has a one-year warranty. The woman, because of the extended warranty, buys the cane, which collapses on her after two years, causing her injury.

Failure to Warn 

In failure to warn claims, the manufacturer had a duty to warn consumers of dangers inherent in using the product but failed to do so. For example, a company manufactures a drug designed to lower cholesterol but fails to warn people that the drug increases the chances of a stroke by 30%.

Contact a Florida Product Liability Attorney for Help With Your Product Liability Claim

A Florida product liability attorney can analyze your claim, inform you of your options, and help you with any insurance or legal claims you may have.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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