Product liability laws have evolved as society has developed from an agricultural economy into a consumer oriented economy. Millions of people are using a multitude of products, some of which cause injuries and death due to a flaw and/or negligence along the manufacturing to consumption process. If you have been injured or have lost a loved one due to a defective product, consult a Dundas ILO product liability lawyer to attain compensation for your loss.
Over the years, laws were written to hold companies responsible for product malfunctions when people are hurt during their use. These laws fall under the area of product liability law. There are three general categories of product liability law and the vast majority of cases fall under one of them when negligence is suspected to cause injury to a consumer. The three categories are Defects in Manufacturing, Defects in Product Design, and Failure to Warn.
- Manufacturing Defects
Manufacturing defects are defects that occur during the manufacturing process. A product may be safely designed but become hazardous due to substandard raw materials. For example, a company that manufacturers ladders could use a substandard batch of lumber to make a limited number of ladders. This defective lumber could cause a rung to crack and break when climbed upon and cause the end user to fall from a height causing injury. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to test the quality of every batch of raw materials they use to produce their product to insure that it is up to quality and safety standards.
- Design Defects
A design defect is associated with problems stemming from the usage of the product. In the example of an extension ladder, a latch could be improperly designed and not hold if a person loads the ladder with more than a certain weight. The latch could give way and the ladder could fold from an extended position to the original position or vice versa, causing the user to fall and injure themselves. The same could be said for seat belts that are improperly design and open upon a specified degree of impact. A recent class of lawsuits involved a major automobile manufacturer that built a model of car, the Ford Pinto, that sometimes exploded during rear-end collisions.
- Failure to Warn
Product manufacturers are required to put warning labels on their products warning users of the hazards that could occur if certain foreseeable events occur. For example, a product might have weight limits on uses of their product because the materials that the product are made of will break or bend if put under an excessive strain due to weight. A ladder might warn that it cannot support more than a given weight, or that the ladder may become unstable or fall over if a person stands on the very top step. A media case where the manufacturer was charged with failure to warn is that of a multinational hamburger chain in a case where a person spilled and was burned by coffee which they had just been served. The company was charged with failure to warn the consumer that the coffee was very hot and could cause burns.
These are only a few examples that illustrate the concept of product liability. Product liability is a complex and ever-evolving field of law. Consumer products in Canada are held accountable for their safe usage and consumption; Canadians have the rightful expectation not to come to harm when using products for the purposes for which they were designed.
The Dundas ILO (Personal Injury Lawyers of Ontario) law firm handles many cases involving product liability for our Dundas and area clients. We build a case based on research on the nature of the product, the raw materials used, product assembly, and the marketing of the product. We seek to determine if there was adequate warning of the potential for the specific injuries that occurred to you. We investigate whether the warnings were clearly labeled and/or advertised based on specific usage and other relevant criteria. If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to the negligence of a product, you deserve compensation from the manufacturer of the product. Give us a call today for a no-cost, no-obligation interview to determine if you have a case.