Holding manufacturers liable for producing safe products
If you live long enough, you will eventually encounter a defective product. Nearly all the time, a product defect is more of a nuisance than an actual threat to your safety. A jacket missing some of the teeth from its zipper, a salad fork with the tines still melded together or even a box of ballpoint pens with no ink in them. The point is that defective products are not always dangerous.
Products liability law is a field of practice that represents the idea that manufacturers have a duty to ensure that their products are not unreasonably dangerous to consumers when used as expected. We previously wrote about this concept in an earlier blog post. In that article, we talked about what is known as the “consumer expectation test.” This basically means that a product is defective and dangerous if it can harm a person when used as the manufacturer intended.
Using a previous example, a manufacturer is not likely to incur liability if a customer punctures his or her eardrum using a ballpoint pen that is missing ink. This does not pass the consumer expectations test. Regardless of the product’s defect, the missing ink, the consumer nevertheless used the product in a manner for which the manufacturer had not intended.
One of the more important jobs that a products liability attorney can do for clients is figuring out whether manufacturers might have reasonably foreseen that one of their products could inadvertently harm a consumer when used as expected. A good example of this might be a manufacturer who is aware that one of the medications they make has serious side effects for a certain percentage of the population. A products liability attorney representing a client injured by that medicine may review corporate emails, clinical trial results and other documents to determine what they knew before allowing those products into the marketplace.
Every case is different, but some victims of defective products can recover substantial compensation based on the extent of their injuries and the severity of the manufacturer’s wrongdoing.
Based in downtown Chicago, our law firm represents clients in products liability cases throughout Northeastern Illinois including Cook, Kane, DuPage, Lake and Will counties. Prospective clients should know that our firm offers free initial evaluations of their claims. Hablamos Español.