What Happens When A Defective Product Causes A Fatality?

  • By:David Bate

It should not come as a surprise that each year, millions of people get injured or die because of defective products. A majority of these defective products are electrical appliances, automobiles, medical devices, sporting equipment, nursery products, and furniture. When a person loses their loved one due to a defective product, their best recourse is to file a wrongful death claim based on a defective product.

When is a Product Considered Defective?

A product may be considered to be defective on three grounds:

  1. Design Defect

Defective design cases are not based on a mishap or error in the manufacture of a product. The argument fronted in these claims is that an entire line of products is potentially dangerous even though it was properly manufactured. An example of a design defect is a car model that tends to flip over when negotiating a corner, or a brand of sunglasses that does not offer protection against ultraviolet rays.

  1. Manufacturing Defect

A defectively manufactured product is deemed to be defective because of an error or mishap that occurred when it was been made. A car that has no functioning brake pads is a good example of manufacturing defect.

  1. Marketing Defect

A marketing defect does not necessarily mean that the product is defective; it implies that the manufacturer failed to provide sufficient instructions, warnings, or guidelines regarding the proper use of the product. Defective product claims based on marketing irregularities involve products that pose a great danger that is not obvious to the consumer. An example of a marketing defect is if the manufacturer of a cough syrup fails to indicate that the syrup can have serious side effects if combined with other drugs.

Filing Wrongful Death Claims

When a person sustains fatal injuries from a defective product, their loved ones may be able to bring a wrongful death claim against the persons responsible. The statutory limitation for filing a wrongful death claim is typically two years starting from the date of the victim’s death.

A wrongful death claim based on defective products can subject the defendant(s) to the payment of certain damages. These include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering
  • Funeral expenses
  • Punitive damages

Parties You May Include in A Defective Product Claim

There are several people that a wrongful death lawyer Minneapolis MN trusts may hold responsible for a defective product resulting in wrongful death. Apart from the manufacturer of the defective product, the distributors of the product might also be held liable. For example, if a wrongful death occurs following a car accident that was caused by defective brakes, the lawsuit might include the manufacturer of the brakes as well as the vehicle manufacturer.

The company selling a defective product can also be included in a wrongful death claim. The company may be held liable on the basis of negligence in selling the defective product.

Can You Still Sue If the Product is Recalled?

In most cases, products are recalled after they cause injuries or deaths. Therefore, even after a company recalls a product owing to its defects, the survivors of persons who died from using the product can still make a wrongful death claim. Recalling a defective product is not enough to absolve the company from its liability for the injuries or deaths caused by the product.

Summing It Up

Many people lose their lives to defective products. In some cases, the guilty parties are not brought to justice. If you have lost a loved one to fatal injuries caused by a defective product, you should consult a wrongful death lawyer to help you take legal action against the concerned parties.

Johnston Martineau PLLPThanks to our friends and contributors from Johnston Martineau PLLP for their insight into wrongful death cases.

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