Failure to Warn/Marketing Defects
If you or a family member has been hurt because of a dangerous or defective product, you need to understand your legal rights, including the right to file a lawsuit against the responsible party in a court of law. Product liability cases can have multiple theories of liability, including failure to warn or defective marketing, design, or manufacturing. The experienced Pembroke Pines product liability lawyers at Cohn & Smith can help you investigate the particulars of the accident that harmed you or your loved one and develop a plan for pursuing maximum compensation through the legal process.Bringing a Defective Product Lawsuit in Florida
Generally speaking, product liability lawsuits fall under the umbrella of negligence law (though some may also sound in contract law, such as a breach of warranty claim). In negligence cases, the party seeking to recover money damages must prove that the defendant had a legal duty, that the defendant breached that duty, that the plaintiff was damaged, and that there was a link of causation between the defendant’s breach of duty and the damages to the injured person. In some product liability cases, a plaintiff may travel under a theory of strict product liability; this can hold a seller, distributor, or manufacturer accountable for damages resulting from and defective product even if the defendant made reasonable attempts to ensure the safety of the product. A knowledgeable product liability attorney can advise you as to whether your case can proceed under a theory of strict liability or whether a different cause of action might be more appropriate.
Although many product liability cases arise because a product was defective due to a poor design or because of a manufacturing defect, it is possible to hold a seller, distributor, or manufacturer liable even though a product is free from such defects. If a product that is otherwise defective lacks proper warnings, this, too, can be cause for liability. In marketing defect cases, liability can result from lack of an appropriate warning or from inadequate warning about the dangers of the product. Of course, not every product is required to have a warning label; for instance, a sharp kitchen knife does not have to have a warning label indicating that it is capable of inflicting harm by cutting because this is obvious from the nature of the product.
The question in a failure to warn case is whether the product, when used as intended or in another reasonable manner, is capable of harm that would not be obvious to the consumer. The issue of whether or not a marketing defect is obvious can be a great source of contention in a product liability case, and the burden is on the plaintiff to make out his or her case by a preponderance of the evidence. This does not require the elimination of all reasonable doubt (as in criminal cases), but, rather, a tipping of the scales in favor of the plaintiff’s version of the facts.
Issues can also arise as to whether a warning was adequate. To be effective, a warning should be clearly visible and written in language capable of informing the consumer of the risk and danger inherent in the product. In some situations, the warning may need to be in multiple languages and be included on the product itself rather than buried in an operator manual that a consumer may or may not read.Get Help from a Knowledgeable Pembroke Pines Injury Lawyer
As in other types of civil litigation, there are statutes of limitation that govern the length of time that an injured person or the family of a person killed by a bad product have to file a lawsuit. In product liability cases, there can also be a statute of repose that further shortens the time for filing suit, depending upon the age of the product. For these reasons, and also to increase the effectiveness of a post-accident investigation, a person or family affected by a product liability accident should contact a thorough and assertive product liability attorney as soon as possible after an injury or death occurs. The injury attorneys at the Pembroke Pines law firm of Cohn & Smith will be glad to speak to you about your case. For an appointment, call us at (954) 431-8100 or contact us online. We serve all of south Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Davie, Sunrise, Coral Springs, Weston, Tamarac, Aventura, Pompano Beach, and other areas of North Dade County.