Defective products regularly injure consumers and other users. Boston product liability lawyer Michael O. Smith provides legal counseling and advocacy to individuals who have been harmed by defective products. Mr. Smith has represented clients in product liability cases throughout his 15 years of practice. He brings his skilled negotiation and advocacy skills to fight for your right to compensation. If you were injured by a defective product, we can help. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.Common Product Defects
Thousands of consumers and product users are injured due to defective products or their component parts each year. In 2012, nursery products alone caused an estimated 77,900 injuries that led to trips to the emergency room, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Some common defective products include:
- Cars or trucks
- Auto parts, such as a brakes or airbags
Defective products can cause catastrophic injuries or death in some cases. While a victim of a defective product injury can file a lawsuit against the manufacturer or seller, establishing liability can be a challenge that requires the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney.Product Liability in Massachusetts
A plaintiff in a product liability case may hold the manufacturer or seller liable for breach of warranty. In Massachusetts, there is an implied warranty that goods are fit for their ordinary purpose and use. A product is considered defective and unreasonably dangerous if it is not fit for its ordinary purpose. There are three categories of defects that can make a product unreasonably dangerous:
- Design defect – the product was properly manufactured and marketed, but there is an inherent defect in its design.
- Manufacturing defect – the product was designed and marketed adequately, but there was a defect along the manufacturing process.
- Warning defect – the product was designed and manufactured properly, but the manufacturer or seller failed to provide adequate warnings of its foreseeable risks of harm.
To succeed in his or her claim, the plaintiff must show that the product was defective; that the defect was present when it was sold to the plaintiff; and that the defect caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
The plaintiff may also base his or her claim on a theory of negligence. Unlike the breach of warranty, which focuses on the product, a claim based on negligence focuses on the manufacturer or seller’s conduct. The plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care; breached its duty of care; and the violation of the duty resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries and damages. The plaintiff must show a causal connection between the product defect and his or her injuries, and that the product was defective when it was sold.
Product liability cases usually require the testimony of experts, particularly where the defect lies in the design. The plaintiff must demonstrate that there was a reasonable, safer alternative design that could have reduced the product’s foreseeable risks of harm at a reasonable cost to the defendant.Avoiding Spoliation of Evidence
It is important to act quickly in a product liability case to preserve evidence on both sides. Product manufacturers and sellers may not want evidence of their missteps to be brought to light, and spoliation of evidence does occur in some cases. Spoliation is the intentional destruction or alteration of evidence by a party to a lawsuit in an attempt to hurt the other party’s case. Some remedies in Massachusetts for spoliation of evidence include an adverse inference instruction to the jury, or even default judgment in serious cases.Compensation and Recovery of Damages
You may recover damages from a manufacturer or seller if a defect in their product caused your injury. You can obtain compensation for your hospital and medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. If a member of your family died because of his or her injuries, you can recover damages through a Massachusetts claim for wrongful death.Experienced Legal Counseling for Your Case
Boston personal injury attorney Michael O. Smith can help you if you were hurt by a defective product. Mr. Smith is a seasoned trial advocate who can provide you with the aggressive representation you need in your product liability claim. He will evaluate the facts of your case, discuss your legal options with you, and work with experts to build your claim. Mr. Smith’s focus on client service means you can count on case-specific legal solutions and representation. He serves clients at his offices in both Boston. Call us at 617-263-0060 or contact us online for a free initial consultation.