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About Product Liability Cases
Mullen & Mullen’s Product Liability Lawyers in Dallas Hold Companies Accountable Who Make Dangerous or Defective Items
Mullen & Mullen Law Firm can assist you in determining whether the item that injured you had a design or manufacturing defect that caused your injuries. Our dangerous and defective products attorneys have the knowledge, skills, experience, and financial stability to pursue product liability cases against companies who fail to account for safety.
What is product liability law?
When you purchase a product you do so assuming it is safe.
Unfortunately, often times companies allow dangerous or defective products into the marketplace. These products can cause consumers to suffer significant injuries or even death. This area of law is generally referred to as “Product Liability“.
Who is to blame if you are injured by a dangerous or defective product?
Several parties could be on the hook for liability including:
- the company that manufactured the dangerous or defective product,
- the company that manufactured a component utilized in the dangerous or defective product,
- the wholesaler of the dangerous or defective product, and
- the retail establishment that sold you the dangerous or defective product.
Below Mullen & Mullen’s attorneys in Dallas answer common questions and break down dangerous and defective product cases.
Design Defects v. Manufacturing Defects vs. Marketing Defects
What does it mean if a product has a design defect?
A design defect can be established if there is an error in the way it was designed as opposed to how it was manufactured, i.e. an inherent flaw in the product.
What must be established to prove a product has a design defect?
You will need to establish an economically feasible and safer alternative design was available that would have allowed for the product to retain its usability and utility.
When is a product defect a manufacturing defect?
A manufacturing defect arises in how the product was made. It involves a mistake in the construction of a product and/or in the assembly of various components into the product.
What must be established to win a manufacturing defect case?
You will need to demonstrate a safe design existed but that the product you encountered did not conform to that design.
What is a marketing defect?
A marketing defect revolves around a failure to warn of the dangers of a product or to provide instructions regarding the safe use of a product. Marketing defects are common in cases involving dangerous drugs, for example. The danger to you must be non-apparent and you must be using the product as it was intended.
You can be successful in arguing a defective product had a marketing defect even if it was designed perfectly.
Common Types of Texas Product Liability Claims
Whether a product was defective or dangerous should be examined on a case-by-case basis. Too many products exist in the marketplace to provide a definitive list. Below, however, are some of the more common products that could be found to be dangerous or defective.
Automobile Product Liability Claims
People use automobiles every day to go about their lives. Unfortunately, we have all read news stories where car manufacturers, or a company responsible for a component utilized in an automobile, failed to make sure it was safe for use. Some common automobile defective products include:
- Unintended Acceleration: Toyota has been subjected to countless lawsuits based on allegations certain models vehicles experienced unintended and uncontrolled acceleration issues due to mechanical or electrical issues. Recently, Ford has also had to deal with allegations of unintended motor vehicle acceleration.
- Rollovers: Many automobile manufacturers have allegedly produced vehicles prone to rollovers or that were designed in a manner that failed to protect the driver and passengers in the event of a rollover. Sport Utility Vehicles and Pickup Trucks are generally more likely to rollover than standard automobiles. In many cases the roof of the automobile was not designed properly or was not structurally sound enough to protect vehicle occupants.
- Tires: Unsafe tires can lead to substantial injuries. In the vast majority of cases alleging defective tires vehicles have lost control and experienced a rollover due to tread separation.
- Non-Functioning Seatbelt or Restraint System: Seatbelts should be designed and constructed in a manner to protect both the driver and any passengers in the event of a motor vehicle collision. Sometimes, however, restraints do not function as they should. For example, in some impacts the seatbelt release mechanism can become disengaged or unlatched effectively making it the driver and any passengers unbelted.
- Airbag Failure to Deploy: Most cars now have airbags to help protect motor vehicle operators and passengers in the event of a collision. Far too often, however, airbags fail to deploy under circumstances where they should have done so.
- Fires After a Traffic collision: Due to faulty design some motor vehicles can catch fire even following moderate collisions. Unfortunately, these post accident fires often cause more substantial injuries than the motor vehicle accident itself.
Car Seat Product Liability Claims
Infants, toddlers, and children are very susceptible to injuries in a motor vehicle collision. Car seats should be designed to protect them in the event of a crash. Unfortunately, some car seats are defectively designed or fail to work as intended due to a manufacturing defect that prevents proper restraint.
Construction Equipment Product Liability Claims
Construction equipment is inherently dangerous and design defects or manufacturing defects can often lead to traumatic injuries or death. In particular, components of construction equipment can fail or fail to perform to minimum standards leading to devastating results. If you were hurt in a forklift incident, crane incident, or incident involving other heavy machinery care should be taken to verify the occurrence was not based on product failure.
Defective Fall Protection Product Liability Claims
Workers are often required to work at great heights and must rely on fall protection such as lifts and hoists. When a lift or hoist fails the end result is usually traumatic injuries or death. Falls should be examined to determine if the equipment utilized failed to perform as it was designed or manufactured to.
Boat Defect Product Liability Claims
Boats and other watercraft are obviously similar to automobiles in that design defects and/or manufacturing defects can lead to serious injuries or death. Often times, for example, boats can flip or lose control due to a component failure.
Child Toy Product Liability Claims
Countless companies manufacture children’s toys that are sold by wholesalers and retailers across the United States. We expect these toys to bring only joy to our children. Too often, however, toys contain a defective part or poor design that can lead to choking deaths or other injuries such as loss of eyesight. Companies have a duty to design these products to be safe for children and to warn parents of any dangers the toy(s) might present.
Mechanical Saws and Other Tool Product Liability Claims
Mechanical saws and other power tools are also commonly implicated in Products Liability cases. Often times mechanical saws, for example, have faulty guards or lack a guard that would have prevented the loss of a limb or finger.
Firearm Product Liability Claims
Guns are obviously inherently dangerous. Numerous cases exist where a firearm was not designed to prevent “drop fires” or where the safety of a handgun malfunctioned.
Asbestos Exposure Product Liability Claims
Asbestos is a known carcinogen you or a loved one may have been exposed to at work, home, or in the community. Asbestos exposure is often the cause of a rare cancer called mesothelioma which is found in the thin membranes that line the chest and abdomen. If you or a loved one was exposed to Asbestos and have developed lung cancer or mesothelioma you should immediately contact us to discuss a potential recovery.
Lead-Based Paint Product Liability Claims
3 out of very 4 homes built prior to 1978 contain some amount of lead-based paint which has been shown to be harmful to both children and adults. If you or your child has been diagnosed with lead poisoning it is imperative you speak with a product liability attorney to review potential sources of the exposure.
What Damages are Available in Product Liability Cases?
You can potentially recover the following damages if harmed by a dangerous or defective product in Dallas:
- Pain and Suffering (Past and Future);
- Mental Anguish (Past and Future)
- Physical Impairment (Past and Future);
- Loss of Earnings in the Past:
- Loss of Earning Capacity in the Future;
- Medical Expenses Incurred in the Past;
- Medical Expenses You Will Incur in the Future; and
- Punitive Damages
The Importance of Expert Testimony in Product Liability Case
Do you need experts to establish liability in a Texas Products Liability claim?
Generally, yes. The use of a safety expert, design expert, or other product expert is generally needed to establish liability against the company or companies responsible for creating the dangerous product and placing it into the stream of commerce.
Are experts expensive to retain?
Yes. Most experts require an initial retainer of at least $5,000 – $10,000.
Do your Dallas product liability lawyer front the money to retain any necessary experts?
Yes. Mullen & Mullen’s Dallas product liability attorneys, or counsel we work with, will advance money to retain an expert on your case if necessary. You will have no up-front cost associated with securing expert testimony as the expenses associated with retaining the expert will be taken out of the settlement proceeds of your case – if any.
If you lose your case do you have to reimburse our attorneys the expenses associated with retaining an expert?
No. You will not be required to reimburse us for any monies for hiring an expert if you do not obtain a final settlement.
Initial consultations are always free with a Dallas product liability lawyer. There is never a fee unless we obtain a settlement for your defective product case.
Call (214) 747-5240 now or use the quick contact form on this page.
Shane V. Mullen is an attorney licensed by the State of Texas for the general practice of law, and the Managing Partner at Mullen & Mullen Law Firm in Dallas, TX. His firm focuses exclusively on personal injury law and has been in business for 40 years (since 1983). Before becoming a lawyer, Shane worked for his father as an accident injury claims investigator.