Dugan, Babij, Tolley & Kohler LLC

Product Liability

Their Products. Your Safety.

Have you or a loved one been injured as a result of a defective product?

The lawyers of Dugan, Babij, Tolley & Kohler, LLC have comprehensive experience in the complex area of product liability litigation.

Product liability refers to actions for injuries suffered as a result of a defective product. This includes actions against product designers, manufacturers or distributors. Some examples include defective tires or wheels, dangerous baby toys, medical devices, pharmaceuticals and industrial machinery. A brief synopsis of the law which governs such cases is outlined below.

Strict Product Liability

Strict product liability refers to fault that is imposed without regard to proof of negligence. To recover under strict product liability, the plaintiff must prove that an unreasonably dangerous condition or defect existed in the product, that the condition existed at the time the product left the manufacturers' control and that the condition was a proximate cause of the plaintiff's injury. The plaintiff may rely upon the inference that the product was defective by direct or circumstantial evidence that there was no abnormal use of the product, that there was no reasonable secondary cause of the injury, and that the product failed to perform in a manner reasonably expected.

What is a "Defective" or "Unreasonably Dangerous" product?

A product is unreasonably dangerous or defective if it fails to perform in a manner reasonably to be expected in light of its nature and intended function.

Products can be unreasonably dangerous in any of three ways. First, a product may contain a manufacturing flaw. Second, the product may be defectively designed. Third, the product may have an information defect such as inadequate warnings, directions or instructions.

Manufacturing Defects

A particular unit of a product may be defective because of an imperfection occurring during the manufacturing process. Examples include an automobile with defective brakes or an imperfection in a surgical rod leading to structural failure.

Design Defects

A product may be defective because its design renders it unreasonably dangerous. In that case, all units of the same design are defective.

Defective Warnings and Instructions

A product may also be unreasonably dangerous if it lacks adequate warnings and instructions of product related dangers or on the proper and safe use of the product.

Who May be Strictly Liable?

In order to be subject to strict product liability, a defendant must be engaged in the business of placing such products in the stream of commerce. Any person in the chain of distribution of a product, including the manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers and commercial lessors may be strictly liable for any defect. Whether a strict liability action may be maintained against the distributor of a product depends upon the specific circumstances of that distribution and status of the manufacturer.

Although strict product liability generally extends to the sellers of all products, strict liability may not extend to sellers of used products under certain circumstances such as when the sale is an isolated sale and not something that the seller was in the business of distributing.

Negligence Actions for Defective Products

In addition to the law of strict liability, actions may be brought against product manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers or commercial lessors based upon their negligence. A product manufacturer has the duty to exercise reasonable care and caution in the design, manufacturing, warning and distribution of its products. The suppliers, distributors and retailers have a similar duty to exercise reasonable care and caution in the sale of the product. A failure to exercise such care is negligence. A plaintiff may recover for injuries suffered as a result of the negligence of a product manufacturer or distributor for those injuries proximately caused by the negligence.

Conclusion

The law firm of Dugan, Babij, Tolley & Kohler, LLC has extensive experience in litigating product liability actions against product designers, manufacturers and distributors.

Dugan, Babij, Tolley & Kohler, LLC had litigated product liability cases against major manufacturers, including General Motors Corporation, Ford Motor Company, Caterpillar, Inc., GlaxoSmithKline, Copley Pharmaceuticals, Bausch & Lomb, Kawasaki Heavy Industries Limited and Dow Corning Corporation.

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a defective product, please contact the Law Firm of Dugan, Babij, Tolley & Kohler, LLC at 1-800-408-2080; fax: 410-308-1742 or via e-mail at info@medicalneg.com.

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