Stephen Hasner | Product Liability | June 7, 2022
We consistently rely on hundreds of products to get us through our daily lives. For example, you may get in your car and drive to work in the morning. Or you may take medication to relieve certain issues you experience throughout the day, like heartburn.
You use these products, and you usually don’t think twice about any dangers they may pose to you because you rely on manufacturers and other companies to ensure that they’re safe. But what if these products aren’t as safe as you thought they were? What if they were designed, made, or labeled in a way that hid or misrepresented their dangers? What if these products injured you?
What is Product Liability?
Product liability is an area of law that allows consumers to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of a defective or dangerous product if it injures a consumer.
According to Georgia law, strict liability laws apply to the product manufacturer in a product liability lawsuit. This means that the manufacturer of a defective product may be held liable for their defective product regardless of whether they intended for it to be defective or dangerous (or knew of the defect).
If you are injured by a defective or dangerous product, you should understand the different types of product liability lawsuits that exist.
What Are the Types of Product Liability Claims?
We discuss the three types of product liability claims below:
A defective design product liability lawsuit alleges that the product’s design is inherently or fundamentally dangerous.
An example of a defectively designed product would be a chest of drawers designed like an inverted pyramid. If the bottom of the chest of drawers is smaller than the top, it will be too heavy and fall over if the consumer opens the top drawer. If the furniture falls over on the consumer and causes an injury, they may have a valid product liability lawsuit based on the defective design.
According to Georgia law, when a court is considering a defective design case, it may consider evidence that an alternative design would have made the product safer and would be marketable and possible.
Georgia courts may apply a “risk-utility analysis” to determine whether a design is defective. This analysis is a balancing test that measures the inherent risks of a product’s design against the benefit derived from the product.
Additionally, Georgia law requires that the injured consumer prove that the defective design was the proximate cause of their injury. In other words, the flawed design must have been the actual cause of the consumer’s injury and not just a remote or unrelated issue.
Product liability lawsuits based on manufacturing defects are very common. Simply put, a manufacturing defect is a defect in the product that was not intended by the product’s design.
Typically, these types of product liability lawsuits allege that the design of the product was safe. However, a defect in the product’s manufacturing or creation process made the product dangerous.
For example, this could apply when a manufacturer uses a cheaper material to make a product, or if a product gets contaminated during the manufacturing process. It may affect one product, a batch of products, or the whole product line.
Warning or Labeling Defects
In a warning or labeling defect case, the injured person must allege that the product was inherently dangerous, and that the manufacturer of the product failed to meet their legal duty to adequately warn of the danger.
These types of product liability cases are common with prescription medications when the pharmaceutical company that manufactured the drug failed to adequately warn about the adverse side effects, injuring a consumer.
For example, many Zantac users sued the medication manufacturer when they were being diagnosed with cancer at high rates. The users alleged that the manufacturers failed to provide adequate warnings about the possibility that the medication could cause cancer.
Contact a Product Liability Lawyer for Help if You’ve Been Injured By a Defective Product
Product liability claims can be complex, particularly because they generally involve large corporations with many resources. Contact a personal injury lawyer experienced in product liability law for help if a defective product has injured you.
We serve in Fulton County, Chatham County, and its surrounding areas: