From typical product liability cases, such as defective exploding gas containers, hot water heaters, and defective fuel tanks, to unique and unusual cases, such as defective stitching in floatation inner tubes, our office has represented clients successfully in products liability cases. We have also worked as co-counsel with law firms around the nation who have obtained verdicts and settlements in the hundreds of millions of dollar range.
There are strict time limits in which a claim can be made for damages resulting from a Defective Product. These time limits are called "Statute of Limitations". This means that after the incident you only have a certain amount of time in which to file a lawsuit. After that time, your right to file a claim is completely barred. These statutes vary depending on the type of claim, “cause of action”, and from state to state. Some states offer exceptions to the limitations in rare circumstances, but some do not. Because of the varied causes or actions, and the complex time limits, if you believe you may have a potential claim, you should seek the assistance of a qualified attorney as soon as possible.
What to Do When You've Been Injured
Keep the defective product. It is often difficult to make a case if we do not have access to the device. Don’t destroy it, tamper with it, or change it. Also do not let the manufacturer inspect it as the may tamper with it. We have been involved in cases where the manufacturer sent an expert to “examine” the product, then in the process of inspecting it tried to tamper with it and make it appear the user (injured party) had damaged the device.
Keep all of your medical appointments. Juries and insurance companies believe that injured people will keep their follow up appointments. Additionally, in some states, the court can reduce your money recovery for failure to “mitigate” your damages. One way the drug companies argue a person failed to mitigate their damages, is the failure to keep follow-up appointments.
Things You Should Know
Causes of Action.
Product liability holds the manufacturer or vendor of goods responsible for injuries caused by the defective merchandise they have sold, distributed or manufactured.
Product liability cases are typically based on 1 or more of 4 different theories:
Negligence – this is the absence of or failure to exercise reasonable, ordinary care. If a manufacturer fails to take reasonable care in the production, design or assembly of a product that causes harm, they can be held liable for that negligence.
Breach of warranty – this is the failure of a seller of a product to fulfill the terms of a promise, claim or representation made regarding the quality or type of product they are selling.
Misrepresentation – advertising or promotion that gives consumers false security about the safety of a product or that intentionally draws away from its hazards of use. This also means the intentional concealment of the potential hazards of a product.
Strict liability – this is not dependent on the degree of carefulness by the manufacturer, distributor or seller. They are liable when a product is shown to be defective. The degree of care that was exercised by the manufacturer or seller is irrelevant. If the product caused harm, they will be liable for it.
Long term medical care and financial compensation.
One of the most important aspects of many Dangerous Drug and Medical Device cases is obtaining sufficient compensation to cover all long term care needs. In many cases we will obtain a document called a “Life Care Plan” or a “Continuation of Care” plan that will provide a detailed analysis of likely needed future medical care. We then have an economist evaluate this plan to ensure the adequate numbers are used to cover inflation and future anticipated costs. In some cases will also involve an annuitant to give our client the option of having lifetime payments, payments guaranteed for life. Lastly, we also provide the ability to structure settlements in a “trust” so that our client can continue to receive government benefits and social security as well as the settlement payments.
The economist expert, mentioned above, will also evaluate and calculated lost wages and lost future earnings potential so that we can recover that for our client as well. This money can be included in the annuity, if our client desires, so that the lifetime payments can be increased.