If you’ve been injured by a defective product, drug, or medical device, attorney Chris Mellino welcomes you to contact our Cleveland office for a free consultation. In a product liability case, the burden of proof lies with the plaintiff. To be compensated for your medical expenses and other damages, you will need an attorney who’s fully versed in consumer product safety regulations.
Products Liability: An Overview
Defective and unreasonably dangerous products can cause serious injuries. No one uses a product expecting it to break or fail, and when a product’s defect becomes apparent, it can take the user by surprise.
The federal government regulates some aspects of consumer product safety (pdf), but the laws affecting products liability litigation exist at the state level. Although the intricacies of these laws vary from state to state, the states share some overarching principles.
What Is Products Liability?
When a person uses a product in a reasonable manner, and that product causes injury, the manufacturer, wholesaler, or seller may be held liable. Think of a hairdryer that emits a dangerous shock or a child’s toy that contains small, sharp pieces. Consumers should be able to use these products as they are intended without worrying about being hurt.
Defective products can cause serious injury and even death. Defects can be traced to three main stages: when the product was designed, when the product was manufactured, and when the consumer should receive instructions or warnings.
Types of Products Liability Cases
Products that cause injury and even wrongful death range from cars and trucks to toys and children’s furniture.
Special Considerations in Products Liability Cases
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, the first thing to do is seek proper medical care. After that, you may wish to take legal action. Products liability cases can be complex, so it is important to seek the help of an experienced attorney who can help you sort out the details and secure the expert witnesses you need.
Products Liability Resource Links
US Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC)
The CPSC oversees more than 15,000 types of consumer products in the US. It establishes safety guidelines, sets fines and coordinates recalls of defective and dangerous products.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
The FTC is responsible for handling complaints about false advertising and fraud, including claims that relate to product quality.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) US agency dedicated to investigating child safety seat compliance with regulations; seat belt usage; car safety; and safety recalls.
Household Products Database: Health & Safety Information on Household Products
National Institutes of Health (NIH) information on items you may have in your home, with an eye toward their safety and ingredients.
A centralized database containing information on government recalls of dangerous and defective products.
US Fire Administration for Citizens
Consumer information on safety recalls of items that present fire-related hazards.
The 2013 Consumer Action Handbook (pdf).