Products Liability Lawyer
What You Need To Know
With over 20 years of dealing with products liability law, McElfish Law Firm handles catastrophic injury cases that result from product defects of any kind. We handle cases relating to the manufacture, construction, design, formula, preparation, assembly, installation, testing, warnings, instructions, marketing, packaging or labeling of any product such as unsafe motor vehicles, defective highways, machinery, food, and medical products.
As a products liability lawyer Los Angeles, we have expertise in the liability aspects of inventing, designing, testing, manufacturing and marketing new products. We can handle cases ranging from the most sophisticated scientific and medical instruments to common household goods in the following areas:
- automobile/suv rollover
- tire/tread separation
- brake failure claims
- roof crush/ejection/seatbelt
- rapid acceleration
- crash testing and vehicle design cases
- industrial accidents
- forklift/heavy machinery accidents
- household/chemical accidents
- child seat/toy accidents
- class action lawsuits
- pharmaceutical and medical device cases
Product defect/liability Lawyer Los Angeles
Manufacturers, distributors, suppliers retailers and others who make products are responsible for the products and the injuries caused. Product liability claims fall within three categories:
Types of liability
1) Manufacturing defect- faulty wiring, poison in a substance, components that break
2) Design defect- SUV rollover
3) Failure to warn or provide instructions on how to properly use the product (marketing defects) like McDonald’s not putting “caution hot on coffee” or facility that manufactures peanuts
To win as a products liability lawyer in Los Angeles, you must prove that the product was defective and that it caused the injury. You can receive compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, loss of income, property damages and where applicable, wrongful death. McElfish Law Firm Obtained a settlement of $700,000 for injuries sustained by a California plaintiff who was calculating warehouse inventory while on top of a forklift which malfunctioned and dropped him onto a concrete floor. This manufacturing defect caused serious personal injury to the plaintiff.
It is the responsibility of the manufacturers/designers to foresee any normal use of a product. Not necessarily only what it is intended for. A step latter could also be used a seat, although not its intended use, it falls under normal use, therefore, any injury as a result; the manufacturer/designer would be liable not having warned of the possible dangers of misuse. An experienced products liability lawyer Los Angeles is able to convey this.
Strict liability is when a manufacture is liable even if the manufacturer was not negligent. Such as paint with lead in it. This usually applies in inherently dangerous activities like on construction sites where there is a dangerous use of explosives or machinery that causes injury.
Consumer protection federal trade commission (FTC) http://www.ftc.gov/
Is a group of organizations and laws to protect the consumer and fair trade. Often companies reach settlements with individuals contingent on them being silent, which is a very ethical matter. This allows for no recalls of defective products and more injuries. The American Bar association, FTC and others are working on regulations in certain industries.
Class action suites– General Motors to Wal-Mart to Lipitor. Big companies knowingly or unknowingly design and manufacture defective products at times. If someone is injured or killed by using or consuming these products, litigation by a products liability lawyer Los Angeles is necessary to reach any settlement for the injured party. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Product_liability
In the news- GM faulty ignition switches have been linked to 13 deaths and many serious injuries. For over 10 years GM knew of the faulty switches and quietly settled with the injured parties out of the public. One case going so far as to seal court records of the case and settlement. For a defective product, that is a danger to the public, and this is viewed as unethical. Two senators have introduced a bill making it difficult for companies to hide behind private agreements. The bill is the Sunshine in Litigation Act of 2014, http://www.acslaw.org/
Defenses of Manufacturers
A statute of limitations- the time period in which the lawsuit must be filed to be a valid claim. The exception is the discovery rule, such as being exposed to asbestos. Under this, the statute of limitation does not apply until the person(s) discovers that they may have a claim. Another variation to the statute of limitations is repose, where the time limit begins after a product was made or sold. Typically around 10 years.
Contributory negligence- is when proving that the plaintiff contributed to the injury.
Federal preemption- when a US state law conflicts with Federal Law.
Unavoidable danger- this mainly applies to pharmaceuticals and especially in the danger of an allergic reaction.
Intervening causes- Action caused by a third party after defendant’s action and contributes to plaintiffs injury such that the original defendant is not liable http://injury.findlaw.com/product-liability/what-is-an-unavoidably-unsafe-product.html
Assumption of risk- the plaintiff knows of the dangers of the product but voluntarily continued to use it, causing personal injury.
Failure to mitigate- this is when the plaintiff is responsible to minimize plaintiffs loses; especially in personal injury.
For a list of the latest product liability settlements and news https://www.law360.com/productliability
All product liability damages fall into two categories–
Compensatory damages medical expenses wages, profits, property damage, pain and suffering.
Punitive damages are awarded in some products liability cases. The amounts are usually large.
If manufacturers behave in a way that disregards the safety of the public, they are required to pay punitive damages as a public punishment and determent if misconduct. If a company knows about a dangerous defect but refuse to fix it, or a pharmaceutical manufacturer that knows of a contaminant but ships it anyway, or a restaurant serving tainted meat and so on. As a top product liability attorney in Los Angeles, McElfish Law Firm takes this into consideration and is skilled at getting the most money for a settlement.
There are a few drug related product liability claims. Defectively manufactured pharmaceuticals- are drugs that have been improperly manufactured or tainted in some way. From when the drug was made to when you receive it. (From plant, shipping, labeling to store.) Dangerous side effects- usually with drugs that have been on the market for some time but no evidence until after that prolong use increase the risk of dangerous side effects.
As a products liability lawyer in Los Angeles will point out, if the drug was improperly marketed, and you were injured, you may have a claim for products liability in Los Angeles. This ranges from incorrect labeling and instructions to receiving “bad advice” from a doctor or pharmacist. Anywhere from manufacturer, test laboratory, pharmaceutics rep, doctors, hospital, pharmacy could potentially be liable.
Product Liability for Defective Cars
Defectively manufactured vehicles or parts- from the manufacturing facility, to shipping to the store where parts are purchased.
The design was unreasonably dangerous that resulted in injury. This can be from a SUV rollover design or defective gas tanks and usually the vehicle or part has been on the market for a while.
Determining who is liable can be difficult. Which is why hiring an experienced products liability lawyer Los Angeles is important to determine if it’s the manufacturer of the vehicle, parts manufacturer (defective tires or battery), shipper, the dealership or supply shop who sold the vehicle or defective part. http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/product-liability-claims-defective-cars-29648.html
How We Help
Experience when it counts.
Few product liability law firms in Los Angeles have the experience and proven results at trial as the McElfish Law Firm. Through our decades of experience, we have honed our litigation skills and strategies in service of obtaining maximum recoveries for our clients. We will begin investigating the facts of your accident and/or injury as soon as we begin representation.
1112 N. Sherbourne Drive West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone: (310) 659-4900
Fax: (310) 659-4926