One of the most active fields of law concerns consumer products and the liability that companies take on by marketing them. Designers and manufacturers have a responsibility to their customers to provide safe goods, whether it’s a child’s toy or a motor vehicle. Ensuring this safety requires rigorous testing and quality checks, and that requires a commitment from the company, both in terms of effort and in terms of finances. Unfortunately, many companies fail in this regard, marketing and selling items that are dangerously flawed. And in some instances, managers and decision makers are well aware of the risks to consumers, even as injuries mount. This level of negligence is something that must be curtailed, and injury claims can help current victims and prevent victimization of people in the future.
WHAT ARE SOME PRODUCTS THAT REPRESENT LIABILITY CONCERNS FOR DESIGNERS AND MANUFACTURERS?
While any item sold to consumers can cause harm, and as a result become the subject of a claim, there are some items that seem to come up more often in injury claims. They include:
- Motor vehicles – some vehicles are susceptible to rollovers or are the subject of extensive safety recalls. Automotive manufacturers are required to test their vehicles for safety risks, but even when problems are spotted, they may not be corrected. SUVs, for example, were allowed to remain on the market in their original form for years before manufacturers finally decided to improve on the design.
- Pharmaceuticals – medications and medical devices can cause severe harm if they are not tested properly before reaching the market. For example, some hip replacement devices, particularly those that include metal on metal joints, have left some patients in severe pain and with tissue damage due to metal particles sloughing off of the joint.
- Children’s toys – toy manufacturers have to be extremely careful, as children can easily choke on parts that are too small or have broken off. Toxic substances, such as lead paint, is also a threat to children, as they tend to put toys in their mouths.
HOW CAN A CONSUMER KNOW WHAT PRODUCTS HAVE LIABILITY CONCERNS?
In most cases, a consumer item that causes harm has likely already been a part of a safety recall or safety alert. These can be found online, such as through the FDA. Personal injury attorneys are always aware of the latest safety alerts in multiple industries, so when someone is hurt in an incident involving a flawed item, consulting with an attorney can give a victim an idea of how similar cases have gone.
Cases that involve products liability often include multiple defendants, depending on how the item in question was built and marketed. The item’s designer and manufacturer may both be at least partly responsible for an incident, and when this is the case, an attorney will take on both to ensure a victim gets the compensation they deserve.