Injuries from Dangerous Toys and Equipment
Defective Products Injure People Every Day, and There Are Currently No Federal Laws Protecting Consumers from Defective Products
Cases regarding defective products are considered civil lawsuits and fall under state statutory laws, called “tort” laws, which vary from state to state. A personal injury attorney in Sacramento can help with your specific case in California.
A manufacturer, distributor, or retailer is responsible for the resultant injury of reasonably foreseeable use of a product. When a manufacturer puts a product into the marketplace, knowing full well that the product will not be adequately tested before consumer use, they are putting consumers at risk and can be found liable for injury arising from the use of their product.
To create a strong case, the following must be established:
- The defendant benefited financially from the sale of this product
- The defendant was integral in the function of the business enterprise such that the defendant may be considered a direct cause for the product reaching consumers
- The defendant controlled or significantly influenced the manufacturing or distribution of the product
- The product was defective upon leaving the possession of the defendant
- The plaintiff was injured while using the product as intended
- The defective product was a substantial factor in causing injury to the plaintiff
Bystanders, not direct consumers, are also protected legally from product injury – perhaps even more so than consumers. Because the bystander is not in the position to inspect the product for possible defects, nor able to determine that the product is from a reputable manufacturer and retailer, the bystander has less control or opportunity to discriminate and thus is in greater need of protection from injury due to defective products. If you’re a bystander or a direct consumer, make sure to speak to a personal injury attorney in Sacramento immediately.
What Makes a Product Defective?
There are several types of defection, but generally a product is considered defective if it fits the following definitions:
- Unfit for the intended use
- Dangerous for normal use
- Does not contain adequate instructions or warnings
- Is inherently dangerous due to design, assembly, or manufacture.
A personal injury attorney in Sacramento will have the resources and investigators to build a case that to prove the product in question was defective. Here are some possible defects a product may have:
- Consumer Expectation test:
- A product is unfit for its intended use or is dangerous for its normal foreseeable use or misuse. A normal foreseeable use includes when the product is used in connection to other products and thus becomes dangerous.
Risk-Benefit test: The defendant may argue that the potential benefit of
the product outweighs the potential risk of injury. In this case, the
following is considered:
- The severity of the potential harm to the consumer
- The likelihood of such a harm
- The feasibility of a safer design at the time of manufacturing
- The cost of such an alternative design
- The disadvantages of such an alternative design
These tests are independent of each other; the risk-assessment test is not to be used in defense of the consumer expectation test.
A product or part thereof was not manufactured properly, as it differs from the manufacturer’s intent or from other typical units in the same production line. Also may refer to a process or processes within the manufacturing of a product that make its use dangerous to a consumer. E.g. products manufactured in another country that permit the use of dangerous chemicals during manufacturing.
A product must contain inadequate instruction and warning for appropriate use. For example, this is why bags come with the warning “This is not a toy.” This also covers potential allergic reactions, side effects, and other risks. For these cases, the following must be established in addition to the “strong case” requirements mentioned at the beginning:
- The product had specific risks generally accepted by the scientific or medical community at the time of manufacturing/distribution/sales
- This potential risk presented a substantial danger when used or misused in a reasonably foreseeable manner
- The typical consumer would not have recognized the risk independently
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Cases regarding the defective design/manufacturing/marketing of a product may also fall under negligence laws as the relationship between product creators and consumers is such that the creators have a duty to protect their consumers from undue harm. When that duty is violated and someone is hurt, an attorney can help injured parties receive the compensation they deserve. We work to hold negligent manufacturers accountable and will fight for you.
Call (916) 299-8131 to speak with a personal injury attorney in Sacramento.
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