In today’s episode Chuck talks about product liability law and the process of holding manufacturers responsible for design defects in court.
Hi, welcome back!
Today we are going to talk about Product Liability, or product defects. You’re probably wondering “What is that?”
Well in the scenario of a motor vehicle, let’s say a motorcycle, you buy a motorcycle and you end up, something unexpected happens with the bike. I can give you a scenario that is actually a true story.
I know of a motorcycle years ago that in order to save money the manufacturer decided to go from a brass fitting on a carburetor gas line or fuel line to a plastic fitting. They did that for one year. The plastic fitting – because of the vibration of the bike when the engine was on – ended up breaking. The gas line swapped all over the place, poured gasoline on my client, and then the bike ignited into flames.
As it turns out that was a product defect, the manufacturer knew at the time that the plastic fitting going into the carburetor would eventually break, and the expectation was that gasoline would be spewed all over the hot engine of the bike, and could ignite into flames. That is product liability, the manufacturer makes something, there is either a design problem, or a manufacturing flaw and you get injured.
That being the case, then you can go after the manufacturer and I can tell you that they will fight you, because it is typically a major corporation that owns the product, in this case it was a major motorcycle manufacturer. You will spend a lot of time and a lot of money going after them to recoup your damages, but it is not impossible.
It is like the little guy going after the big guy but in terms of being compensated, at some point if you can prove that there is a design problem or manufacturing defect you will collect for your damages. Getting back to what I talked to you about before: your damages are pain and suffering, possibly disfigurement in the case of a burn, lost earnings, lost earning capacity in the future, potential for permanent impairment.
That is what a product liability or product defect case is all about. You go after the person that is responsible for putting that item into the stream of commerce, being sold either retail, wholesale, and you can go after the manufacturer as well too.
That’s your free legal advice for the day.