We use many products daily and assume they are safe for consumers. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be on the market, right? Unfortunately, this is not always the case. A product can be defective due to a design, manufacturing, or marketing defect, among other reasons. Sometimes these product defects can lead to death. When someone loses their life due to a product defect, loved ones may file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible parties.
Can a Defective Product Result in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Defective products result in wrongful deaths every day. When you have been impacted by the loss of a loved one due to a defective product, it’s best to get an attorney involved immediately. You only have two years to file a wrongful death claim for most wrongful death claims due to a defective product. Thus, you should speak with a lawyer today to preserve your rights in a wrongful death in a defective product lawsuit.
Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C. can evaluate your claim to determine whether we can assist in your case. Our wrongful death cases often require the evaluation of complex medical insights. One of our partners, attorney Eric Steiner, M.D., has 17 years of medical experience and 20 years of legal experience that he puts to work on behalf of our clients in these cases. The wrongful death lawsuit in such a case will be based on product liability law.
What Is Product Liability Law?
Product liability law seeks to hold liable parties accountable for the harm their products cause. Product liability involves the legal principle that a victim should be compensated when injured by a dangerous product.
Products frequently involved in defective product lawsuits because they caused death include:
- Automobiles and component parts,
- Consumer products,
- Children’s products,
- Machinery and industrial products, and
- Prescription drugs and medical devices.
Product liability actions take various forms due to the sheer number of products in the marketplace today. At Gerash Steiner Blanton, our experienced lawyers are committed to helping individuals who have lost loved ones due to defective products get the compensation they deserve.
Types of Product Liability Claims
In general, a successful product liability claim must prove one of the following causes of action: strict liability, breach of warranty, or negligence.
In strict liability causes of action, a victim need not prove that the manufacturer was negligent. Instead, those who provide products to consumers are strictly liable for injuries caused by the product. To recover damages, the plaintiff must prove that:
- The defendant designed, manufactured, distributed, or sold the defective product;
- The product contained the defect when it left the defendant’s possession;
- The victim used the product in a reasonably foreseeable manner; and
- The defect harmed the victim.
Colorado law bars a victim from recovering damages if they did not use the product for its intended purpose. “Reasonably foreseeable” requires the manufacturer to anticipate a consumer’s product use. Manufacturers, however, are not required to anticipate every possible use for the product.
A manufacturing defect occurs when a product fails to conform to the manufacturer’s specifications. A manufacturing defect usually occurs during the process of creating the product. This defect causes an accident or makes an accident more severe.
When the manufacturing process goes according to plan, but the design itself causes an accident, this constitutes a design defect. A defective product can result from a poor design. If the design causes an unreasonable risk of harm, the product suffers from a design defect.
Failure to Warn
A manufacturer failing to provide adequate instructions on using a product can result in a defective product claim. When the manufacturer fails to warn about inherent dangers with the product or provide sufficient operating instructions, the manufacturer can be held liable for a failure to warn claim.
Breach of Warranty
Under a breach of warranty claim, a victim must prove a violation of the product’s written warranty. If the warranty no longer covers the defect, the victim must show that the item is unfit for intended purposes.
Product liability claims under the negligence theory include negligent manufacture, design, and warning. The elements of negligence include duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. A product liability claim based on negligence asserts that the defendant failed to use reasonable care in making their products. A product liability negligence claim also alleges that the defendant’s failure resulted in injury or death.
If you believe any of these product liability theories caused your loved one’s death, please contact us today. We can evaluate your claim and guide you during this difficult time.
Who Is Responsible for Defective Products?
Under Colorado law, one or more parties may be responsible for a product defect. The product designer, manufacturer, distributor, retailer, and others can all be held liable depending on the circumstances. Sometimes, a retailer or person selling a defective product may be liable. However, Colorado law limits when an “innocent seller” can be held liable. Our experienced injury lawyers will investigate the facts to determine the proper parties to hold accountable.
What Is Wrongful Death by a Defective Product?
A wrongful death claim arises whenever a person dies due to the wrongful conduct of another person or corporation. A wrongful death defective product lawsuit is a claim a family member or designated beneficiary brings against a person or corporation that caused the death of their loved one. With a wrongful death claim based on a defective product, you can sue the responsible party due to a defective product.
Colorado law limits wrongful death claims to spouses, the deceased’s children, and the deceased’s designated beneficiary, if any. The individuals who can file a wrongful death claim vary depending on the time that has passed since the person’s death. Our knowledgeable lawyers can help you sort through these issues.
With a wrongful death claim, potential damages are available for the following:
- Lost income,
- Medical costs,
- Funeral expenses,
- Loss of benefits, and
- Loss of companionship.
Punitive damages may also be available in limited cases. Punitive damages seek to punish those who willfully allow dangerous products into the hands of consumers. Punitive damages also intend to deter bad actors.
Although money cannot reverse your loss, our attorneys will help you determine the compensation available in your particular situation.
Choose the Experienced Attorneys at Gerash Steiner Blanton
A wrongful death lawsuit based on a product defect can be complicated. Due to the nature of product liability cases, you must typically fight against large corporations. We can help you level the playing field in these serious cases. At Gerash Steiner Blanton, we will listen to your story and explain your legal options following your loss. We can seek the full compensation you deserve for the tragic loss of a loved one.
With over 75 years of combined experience, we have helped countless clients recover the compensation they deserve. We handle all wrongful death cases on a contingency basis. This means that you do not have to pay any legal fees unless we obtain compensation for you. If you need assistance dealing with wrongful death in a defective product lawsuit, please reach out to discuss your case with our attorneys. Contact us online or call today to schedule a consultation.