Defective Products

Manufacturers of goods and storeowners who sell goods have a responsibility to consumers to provide safe products. Persons harmed or who suffer loss caused by unsafe or defective products may hold the manufacturer or seller accountable for such harms or losses when there is sufficient proof that the product is either defective or inherently dangerous. If a product was used as it was intended when the injury, death, or loss occurred, the manufacturer and sometimes the designer, distributor, wholesaler or retailer may be liable to the consumer for such injury, death, or loss.

Whether the product is a hairdryer, drug, or an automobile, the manufacturer must make sure that the product is designed and made safely, that quality control systems prevent defective products from entering the market, and that adequate directions and warnings are available to protect consumers.

To learn more about specific types of product liability, click one of the following links:

Vehicle Recalls

Every year, tens of thousands of automobiles get recalled by manufacturers or by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for repairs of safety-related flaws. Many times these recalls come only after consumers have suffered serious or fatal injuries, as in the case of the Ford Explorer rollovers that have killed hundreds through a combination of vehicle design flaws and defective tires.

Vehicle manufacturers are required by law to notify owners of vehicle recalls. Many manufacturers, however, are lax about low consumer repair response to these recall notices. Federal authorities can require manufactures to send out second notices to help ensure that all owners are made aware of their vehicle’s safety hazard, but often do not do so.

Consumers who have been injured or lost loved ones as a result of a car accident caused by faulty vehicle design or manufacture may be entitled to substantial financial compensation from the vehicle manufacturer. Our firm is experienced in product liability litigation and the Law Office of Ryan Krebs, M.D., J.D. may be able to help you seek compensation.

Defective Tires

Properly designed and manufactured tires are critical to vehicle performance and safety. Poorly designed or defective tires can cause deadly automobile accidents, including vehicle rollovers and roof crush. Tire blowouts and tread separation are among the most common causes of vehicle accidents.

In one of the largest tire recalls in American history, Firestone/Bridgestone recalled millions of tires in August 2000 after numerous reports of fatal accidents involving sport utility vehicles (SUVs), in particular the Ford Explorer. Those who have suffered serious automotive accidents as a result of defective tires, or whose families have lost a loved one to such accidents, have the right to pursue legal action to claim compensation for their damages. Contact our product liability lawyers for legal assistance with your claim.

Defective Seat Belts

Many statistics have shown that wearing a seat belt can significantly lower your risk of injury during a motor vehicle accident, and almost all states require drivers and passengers to wear seat belts. For this reason, manufacturing defects that cause seat belt failures during an accident represent a betrayal of the public’s trust by the automobile manufacturing industry.

When a seat belt fails to serve as a restraint during an auto accident, a driver or passenger may suffer more severe injuries because of the product defect than they otherwise would have experienced. Many people are maimed or killed each year as a direct result of seat belt failures. The automobile manufacturer may be legally liable for these damages. Our product liability attorneys are best able to evaluate such cases and advise people of their legal options.

Defective Air Bags

Since they first became standard in many vehicles in the 1980s, air bags have saved thousands of lives. Defective air bags, on the other hand, may not only fail to protect vehicle occupants during an accident, but they may also cause more serious injuries than would otherwise have been sustained. If an air bag is improperly designed or installed, fails to inflate upon collision, or inflates or explodes with improper air pressure, severe injury or death may result.

Vehicle manufacturers are liable for ensuring the safety of the air bags they install in their vehicles. Drivers or passengers who have suffered injury as a result of a defective air bag have the right to sue the vehicle manufacturer for compensation.

Roof Crush

The ability to withstand roof crush is one of the important factors that determine how safe a vehicle will be in a rollover accident. SUVs are the most likely vehicles to experience rollovers and, unfortunately, many have a high propensity for roof crush during an accident. Roof crush occurs largely as a result of defective roof design, in which the vehicle roof is unable to withstand the forces applied to it during a rollover.

When a roof collapses, there is less room for the driver and passenger. The collapsing roof strikes their heads and necks, which frequently causes paralysis or death. When a roof crushes, there is also a greater likelihood of the passenger being ejected, which further increases the risk of serious injury or fatality.

Persons injured or killed by a roof crush during a rollover accident may have been the victims of defective roof design. Our experienced product liability lawyers may be able to help victims and their families receive much needed financial compensation for their injuries.

Crashworthiness

Crashworthiness is one aspect of vehicle safety; (the other being accident avoidance equipment). It deals with design and manufacturing features that protect drivers and passengers in the event of a collision. Crashworthiness features include seatbelts, air bags, roll bars, side impact bars, and “crumple zones.”

Vehicles may be uncrashworthy due to manufacturing defects (e.g. a defective air bag that does not fully inflate in the event of a crash) or design defects (roll bars that are not placed in an appropriate location). Vehicle manufacturers are responsible for the crashworthiness of their vehicles, whether they are aware of potential safety hazards or not. If a vehicle occupant is injured in an accident due to crashworthiness defects, he or she may be entitled to financial compensation from the vehicle’s manufacturer. To learn more, contact the Law Office of Ryan Krebs, M.D., J.D. Our product liability attorneys are experienced in this area of litigation.

Road Defects

Defects in either road design or maintenance can lead to serious or deadly vehicle accidents. Failures in road design such as unsafe dividers and curves, poorly supported construction, or unclear traffic signs can put drivers at risk. Likewise, major road defects, including missing manhole covers, large cracks and potholes, deteriorating road surfaces, or blocked storm drains can be equally hazardous.

If a serious automobile accident occurs as a result of a road defect, the victim or their family may be entitled to financial compensation from the construction company, municipal government, or other responsible level of government. If you or a loved one has been injured because of a defective product, contact the Law Office of Ryan Krebs, M.D., J.D. Our product liability lawyers may be able to help you seek the restitution you deserve.

Defective Child Restraint Seats

It is harsh reality–and completely unacceptable–that many of the child restraints used to protect our children from harm are, in fact, defective. Although these restraint systems are required to undergo dynamic testing by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) and to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213, many of these seats still fail to meet important safety standards.

Defects in child restraint seats such as inadequate lateral support, weak shell material, unclear instructions, and lack of torso restraint are responsible for killing hundreds, even thousands, of children each year. Parents of children who have been harmed or killed while riding in defective child restraint seats are entitled to bring suit against the manufacturers of these child restraints. Contact our product liability attorneys for legal assistance with your case.

Children’s Products

In 2003, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced 80 recalls of toys and other children’s products due to safety hazards. Among the products that violated mandatory safety standards were toys, cribs, bicycle helmets, playground equipment, and bunk beds. Defective children’s products such as these result in numerous childhood injuries and fatalities every year.

Manufacturers of dangerous children’s products need to be held legally responsible for their actions, both to prevent such tragedies from happening to other families and to provide families of injured children the financial means to put their lives back together. For comprehensive legal guidance, contact our firm today. Our attorneys can review these product liability cases and help protect a family’s legal rights.

Household Products

Many of the common household products that Americans use every day, from cleaning supplies to electrical appliances, can be hazardous or deadly. Faulty or inappropriately labeled products result in thousands of consumer injuries and deaths each year.

Items such as paint removers, cleaning fluids, and garden sprays often contain highly toxic ingredients. And while The Federal Hazardous Substances Labeling Act (FHSLA) requires manufacturer labels to list ingredients that might pose an immediate health hazard, no such labeling requirement exists for ingredients with possible long-term or chronic health consequences.

Many other faulty household products can cause serious consumer injuries. Electric blankets, toasters, and barbeques have been known to cause fires and serious burn injuries to consumers. Unstable house furnishings, such as heavy bookcases or dressers, that tip over easily have injured or killed many victims, particularly small children climbing on them. Defective children’s toys and products are another common source of injury in the home.

Medical Products & Devices

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the safety of medical products and devices. Companies that manufacture and sell these items must ensure that their products meet all safety requirements and will not harm patients.

Unfortunately, there are numerous examples of defective medical products or devices that have injured or killed unknowing patients. In 2000, Sulzer Orthopedics withdrew its widely used hip implant because a loosening of the shell within the device was causing pain, difficulty walking, and the need for secondary surgery in hip implant patients. Sulzer has also experienced problems with its knee implant products. In 2001, Baxter Healthcare Corporation voluntarily recalled dialysis filters after the deaths of more than 50 kidney dialysis patients worldwide.

Patients injured by faulty medical devices or products from Sulzer, Baxter, or any other medical product manufacturer may be entitled to financial compensation for their injuries. If you have been injured by a dangerous or defective medical product or device, the Law Office of Ryan Krebs, M.D., J.D. may be able to help.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a defective product?

A: A defective product is one that causes injury or damage to a consumer because of a defect in the product, its labeling or marketing such as a failure to warn about dangers, and/or the way the product is used.

Q: What is the basis for a product liability claim?

A: A successful products liability claim is based on a manufacturing defect, a design defect, or inadequate warning of danger known to the manufacturer or seller.

Q: When is a manufacturer liable for injury caused by a defective product?

A: A manufacturer is liable if the design allows for an unreasonable amount of danger to consumers or there is a failure to warn of such danger.

Q: Is a store that sells a defective product liable?

A: A store can be liable if it does not take proper steps to inspect the safety of the product.

Q: What do I do if I’m injured?

A: Contact an attorney immediately. Evidence must be gathered and secured. If too much time is taken, evidence can disappear or be altered.

Q: What damages are recoverable in a defective product case?

A: A successful products liability case may entitle the injured to compensation for lost wages, lost earning capacity, physical pain and mental anguish, impairment, disfigurement, medical expenses, and property damage resulting from the usage of the defective product. Punitive damages are also available for different reasons.

Q: Who else can be responsible besides the manufacturer?

A: In addition to either the manufacturer or seller having liability for a product, any repairer of a product can be liable for the product.