If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries. Products liability actions are based in tort and seek to hold the designer or manufacturer of a product responsible when those products are defective and cause injury.
There are a number of legal theories under which a products liability case may be brought, and having a basic understanding of how these theories work will help to ensure that you take the necessary steps to protect your claim and obtain the justice you deserve. Specifically, cases may be filed alleging that the product was negligently manufactured or designed, or that the product’s designer, manufacturer, or retailer failed to warn of known hazards associated with the operation or use of the product.
In products liability claims, it is vital that you take certain steps to protect your rights. If possible, you should always keep the product which caused the injury. The product may play an important evidentiary role in your case. Additionally, you should keep receipts, manuals, and other paperwork associated with the product, if that paperwork is still in your possession.
Working with your attorney to determine the appropriate causes of action will be important. Any person who believes that they may be entitled to bring a products liability claim is strongly encouraged to seek representation immediately.
Michigan personal injury attorney, Tom Sinas, appeared on Fox 17 “Know the Law” to explain the basic principles behind product liability claims.
Potential Product Liability Claim Hurdles
When bringing a products liability claim against a manufacturer, it’s oftentimes an uphill battle for the injured party, especially since the burden of proof rests with them. The injured person must prove that:
1. the product was not reasonably safe;
2. there was an alternative to the way it was manufactured;
3. and using the alternative manufacturing process does not significantly impair the usefulness of the product.
Furthermore, due to reform of Michigan’s product liability law in the 1990s, the injured party must meet additional requirements in order to bring a suit against a manufacturer, supplier, or retailer of a defective product. First, the injured party must exceed the presumption in Michigan that, since the product was manufactured in accordance to certain standards, it is presumed to be safe. Secondly, damage caps limit how much an injured party may collect for their injuries. In Michigan, those injured by defective products are limited to $280,000 in non-economic damages and $500,000 for loss of a vital bodily function.
Michigan is, unfortunately, the only state in the country that has complete immunity against drug manufacturers who sell drugs approved by the FDA. This is unfortunate due to the fact that history shows, time and again, the FDA approves drugs that end up being unsafe to consumers.