People buy hundreds of different products every year for a variety of needs. When you purchase a product, you expect the product to perform as advertised. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Consumers can suffer devastating injuries from products that do not function as intended. While injuries from a defective product may seem rare, more than 11.7 million people received emergency treatment in 2021 for injuries caused by consumer products.
When an unsafe, defective, or nonfunctional product is purchased by a consumer who subsequently suffers injuries from it, they can recover compensation from the product manufacturer. Contact Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., today to discuss manufacturer liability for defective products.
What Is a Defective Product?
Manufacturers owe consumers a duty to develop and produce products that are safe and function as intended. Three primary defects exist that may impose liability on a manufacturer.
A design defect is a flaw inherent in the design of the product. Every unit in the line of products will include the same defect. The plaintiff, or the party filing the lawsuit, must prove that the defective product posed an unreasonable risk when used for its intended purpose and resulted in their losses.
A manufacturing defect occurs during the manufacturing process for the product. In this case, the design is not flawed, but errors made during manufacturing render the product defective or unsafe. Thus, manufacturing defects affect individual units in a batch of products, not the entire batch.
Manufacturing defects can happen in numerous ways, from machinery failures to human errors.
Warning Label Defect
A warning label defect, sometimes referred to as a marketing defect, arises when a product lacks necessary instructions for improper use or warning labels informing of potential hazards. The warning must be clear, specific, and placed in a location that is easy for the average consumer to find.
For example, consider that a space heater will combust into flames if you leave it on for more than four hours. That means the manufacturer needs to attach a warning to the product that tells the consumer about the fire risk. If the product does not include warnings and someone suffers injuries in a fire after leaving the heater on for more than four hours, the manufacturer may be held liable.
A plaintiff cannot file a product liability claim against a manufacturer or seller if the plaintiff was using the product “in a manner or for a purpose other than that which was intended and which could not reasonably have been expected” and their misuse causes their subsequent losses. A plaintiff’s failure to read or abide by warnings on a product is a form of misuse.
Defective Product Liability: An Overview
When you file a defective product lawsuit, you do not need to prove that the defendant was negligent. Instead, it is presumed that the defendant made a mistake if you suffered an injury after using the product. The defendant’s intent does not matter. If you can show the product was defective, the manufacturer is strictly liable for damages you suffer from that defect. The potentially liable parties in a product liability claim include:
- Distributors, and
Contact a qualified attorney to take the next steps toward your recovery.
Manufacturer Liability for Defective Products
Colorado defines a manufacturer as a person or entity who designs, assembles, fabricates, produces, constructs, or otherwise prepares a product or a component part of a product before the sale of the product to a user or consumer. The manufacturer is strictly liable for losses caused by a defective product unless someone else made a substantial change to the product before it was sold, and the change causes subsequent losses.
Retailer Liability for Defective Products
Colorado law exempts sellers from product liability action unless they are also considered a manufacturer of the product or a part of the product. Manufacturers in Colorado include any seller with actual knowledge of a product defect or a product seller who creates and furnishes a manufacturer with specifications relevant to the alleged defect for producing the product. A seller who exercises significant control over all or a portion of the manufacturing process or alters/modifies a product in any significant manner before its sale is also considered a manufacturer for purposes of a products liability claim.
How to File a Products Liability Claim Against a Manufacturer
If you discover a defective product, you can contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to report the defect and find out if other consumers reported a similar issue. The CPSC maintains lists of product recalls and educates manufacturers about regulations and the development of safe products.
You should also file a report with the product manufacturer. The manufacturer should include their contact information with the product. Once you report the defective product, you should immediately contact an experienced lawyer. We can draft your complaint to initiate the legal process.
Contact Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., to Discuss Manufacturer’s Defective Product Liability
The defective product attorneys at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C. know the financial hardship and physical discomfort a defective product can inflict. We understand that many clients hesitate to contact an attorney because of the threat of costly attorneys’ fees. We take product liability cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only get paid if you secure a judgment or settlement in your case.
Our team has decades of combined legal experience to draw upon while we navigate your case through the civil process.
Attorney Eric Steiner, M.D., has more than 20 years of experience in the medical field. Dr. Steiner is invaluable in helping our entire personal injury team prove the extent of your injuries in defective product cases. Our other qualifications include:
- Willingness to provide our clients with our personal cell phone numbers;
- 5.0 out of 5.0 rating of AV Preeminent® for proven ethics and legal skill; and
- Inclusion in Colorado Super Lawyers® and in Best Lawyers in America®.
Contact our team today so we can put our knowledge and resources to work for you.