Defective Products & Wrongful Death: Product Liability Cases
Consumers have a right to expect products on the market to be safe for use. Defective products can cause serious or fatal injuries to unsuspecting users. Manufacturers and other parties along the chain of distribution may be held accountable for injuries or deaths caused by their products. If you have lost a loved one because of a defective product, you may be entitled to seek justice for your loved one and compensation for your family in a wrongful death product liability claim.
Understanding Product Liability Laws
Product liability is the term for the legal liability a manufacturer or trader incurs for producing or selling a faulty product. Any or all parties along the chain of manufacture of a defective product may be held liable for damages that the product has caused.
Product liability is typically considered a strict liability offense. To prevail, a plaintiff must prove that the product is defective, regardless of the intent of the defendant or whether the manufacturer exercised due care. A consumer product may be defective in any of three different ways:
- Design defect: A defect is inherent in the product, existing before it is manufactured. The item is unreasonably dangerous to use due to a design flaw.
- Manufacturing defect: A defect occurred during the production or construction of the product. When manufacturing defects occur, usually only a few out of many products are flawed.
- Marketing defect: The manufacturer failed to provide proper instructions or to warn consumers of latent dangers in the product.
Examples of Wrongful Death Due to Defective Products
For 2019, an estimated 36,267 consumer product-related injuries and 50,900 consumer product-related deaths were reported by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Examples of defective products that can cause death include:
- Auto parts with faulty designs, including tires, brakes, and airbags
- Electrical devices with latent defects that explode or ignite suddenly
- Dangerous drugs with deadly side effects
- Products that expose users to hazardous chemicals
- Faulty medical devices, such as pacemakers or defibrillators
- Defective power tools or kitchen appliances
- Dangerous children’s products, such as defective car seats and high chairs
Pursuing a Wrongful Death Claim in a Product Liability Case
A defective product that causes injury to users can give rise to a product liability injury claim. When a dangerous product takes the life of an individual using the product, the surviving family members of the deceased may file a product liability claim against responsible parties for wrongful death. To prevail in such a claim, you must prove that the manufacturer or trader was responsible for your loved one’s death. These cases often require the testimony of expert witnesses, such as doctors, engineers, and other professionals who are experts in product development, medicine, or other areas.
Damages available in a Texas wrongful death claim may include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical expenses related to the final illness or injury of the deceased
- Physical pain and suffering of the deceased before death
- Loss of household income
- Loss of retirement and other benefits the deceased would have provided
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of services, support, advice, and maintenance previously provided by the deceased
- Loss of companionship, care, guidance, comfort, and love
- Loss of consortium (benefits of an intimate relationship)
Contact The Lenahan Law Firm and Take the First Step Toward Justice
At The Lenahan Law Firm, our Dallas personal injury lawyers can play an essential role in your wrongful death product liability case. Whether your case is resolved in negotiations or by jury verdict, we have a reputation for securing notable results for our clients.
Founding attorney Marc Lenahan has been rated 10.0 by Avvo, named among Texas Super Lawyers, and awarded membership in the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Contact us at (214) 295-1008 if a defective consumer product caused your loved one’s death.