What is Product Liability?
Product liability is essentially a lawful case or claim when a product was defective, unsafe or didn’t work according to instructions and caused one or multiple people serious bodily harm or death. Within a product liability lawsuit, the plaintiff wishes to hold the creator, manufacturer or seller of the product responsible for the damage from the injury or death due to the unsafe product.
How would a product be considered defective?
Under Georgia law, a product can be considered defective in three different ways:
- Manufacturing Defect: A product defect would be classified as a manufacturing defect if during the manufacturing process an error or anomaly occurs due to which the manufactured good does not conform to the design specifications. A manufacturing defect could be caused by any number of things such as human error, mistaken use of substandard raw materials, or machinery failure. The plaintiff does not allege that there is any inherent flaw with the product, rather that the specific product purchased by the plaintiff has a manufacturing defect.
- Design Defect: When a plaintiff alleges that a product has no manufacturing flaws and is intrinsically defective and unsafe, it could be deemed to have a design defect. A design defect could be caused by use of non standard materials or not enough safety devices or checks incorporated within the product. A plaintiff would require a subject matter expert to prove that the product was inherently unsafe and unfit to use.
- Warning or Instructional Defect: When a manufacturer doesn’t include the requisite directions for use or doesn’t include sufficient advisory about the risk factors of the product, there is a case for a warning or instructional defect. It is considered the manufacturer’s duty to provide enough instructions and provide warnings of any known or predictable hazards of using the product. Under Georgia law, manufacturers have a continued responsibility to provide this information to their consumers even after the sale of products have occured.
What kind of Claims can be pursued in a Product Liability Lawsuit?
In Atlanta, Georgia, a manufacturer might be liable for injury or death caused by a defective product under three different speculation:
A manufacturer might be held liable for any for injury or death caused by inability to practice common care in any of a few including:
- Incorrect/inefficient configuration
- Inability to satisfactorily test/and review.
- Inability to give sufficient directions or notices.
- Inability to recall a product in time.
In the event that the product is defective, the manufacturer is liable even without any proof of negligence. Other than a post purchase failure to warn of any safety concerns, all product liability suits must be filed within 10 years of the transaction. However Georgia law also protects sellers of a faulty product who were not the manufacturers of the said commodity.
The Uniform Commercial Code is applicable in the state of Georgia under which
- The product must be suitable for the purpose as defined by the seller.
- The product must also be suitable for the buyer’s expected utility as known by the seller.
However due to the nineteenth century Georgia wrongful death statute, a wrongful death claim cannot be made on the violation of an implied warranty.
Who can make a product liability claim?
The Georgia Legislature passed a statute in 1968 according to which a product liability claim could be brought by anyone who either were themselves hurt or killed by a defective product or were filing a claim for a defective product victim. Prior to 1968, the civil product liability claims against the seller or manufacturer could only be brought by the person who had actually purchased the product.
What kind of products are covered under the Product Liability Law?
The laws controlling Product Liability cover all types of consumer products, industrial, farming or construction machinery, medications both over-the-counter or prescription, and raw or processed food items. They do exclude property, real estate or any renovations/enhancement to a property.
Examples of products covered under product liability law are furniture, toys, guns, vehicles, exercise machines, baby cribs, strollers, car seats, escalators, elevators, dishwashers, cooking range, vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, batteries and other consumer goods.
Why do I need an Atlanta Product Liability Lawyer?
In recent years, there have been a barrage of consumer goods with sub par quality from foreign manufacturers. Unfortunately, it is not as simple as finding the manufacturer of a product you bought at a local supermarket and serving them with legal papers. You need a highly skilled and experienced product liability trial lawyer who is well versed with all areas of litigation. Our associates at The Bader Law Firm have many years of practical knowledge with product liability litigations and experience with filing litigations against powerful conglomerates. We are very experienced with all types of product liability litigations in the Atlanta area. Contact us at 678-562-5595 if you or your family members have been a victim of a defective product. We will assess your case and determine if there is a product liability claim to be made.