When we purchase products, we trust that those products have been designed and manufactured with our safety in mind. We also trust that if there is a potential health issue, the company will take reasonable measures to warn us of the possible defect and ensure that we do not use the product in a way that could cause harm. However, though we as consumers trust, manufacturers do not always deliver.
When a person is injured by an injured product, he or she would file a claim under the theory of products liability. Under the theory of products liability, the manufacturer, distributor, seller, or retailer can be held liable based on negligence or strict liability.
Negligent Products Liability
A negligence liability claim involves showing that the manufacturer, distributor, seller, or retailer owed a duty to all potential users of the product to keep them safe from harm, and that he or she breached that duty by creating or selling a defective or dangerous product. The seller and retailer can be held liable for failing to warn buyers of potential defects and potentially harmful side effects of using the product as intended.
If you choose to sue for negligent product liability, you will likely only be able to sue for actual damages, meaning compensation for damages that caused physical injury or damage to property. Typically, victims of negligent products liability cannot sue for economic loss damages, such as reduced earning capacity, or the loss of a job opportunity.
Strict Product Liability
There are two ways that a plaintiff can bring a strict product liability claim. The first option is to bring a claim and argue that the product itself is defective. In Florida, the court will use a test called the consumer-expectation test to see if the product fails to perform the way a consumer would expect it to perform. The second option is to argue that the manufacturer, distributor, retailer, or seller failed to warn about the defective nature of the product. If you can prove that defective manufacturing or failure to warn exists, you may have a strict product liability claim.
Under strict liability, you can recover for actual damages and pure economic loss. Additionally, the burden of proof rests with the defendant, meaning that the defendant is required to prove that the product was not defective or dangerous rather than the plaintiff having to prove that it was. If you opt to file a strict product liability claim, you can sue anyone in the supply chain. This may include the manufacturer, distributor, seller, or retailer.
Statute of Limitations
In Florida, you have four years from the time of injury to file a claim. The time starts when you discovered or should have discovered the facts regarding defects.
If you were injured by a defective product, you may want to know who to sue and for what types of damages, let the personal injury attorneys at Suarez & Montero review the circumstances of your case and discuss your legal options. Our attorneys are ready to provide proven legal representation in pursuing your claim and stand ready to protect your rights.
Contact us today at 786 Lawyers for a free consultation!