Consumer products can be defective and cause serious injuries. Missouri law speaks of products being “unreasonably dangerous when put to a reasonably anticipated use.” When consumer products are bought and used as directed, the manufacturer can be held liable for the injuries a defective product causes. The same is true in Illinois.
What is a Product Liability Lawsuit?
Product liability cases in Missouri and Illinois generally involve products with a dangerous design or manufacturing defect. If a consumer product does not have proper warnings regarding its use and it causes injuries, those lack of warnings can also be the basis for a lawsuit.
Important: If you believe you have been injured by a product, SAVE the product or be sure it is secured. Often, if a product is not working, you will be tempted to dispose of it, however, often the actual product is needed in order to prove it is defective.
Missouri law (Section 537.760) says plaintiffs can seek compensation from defendants who “in the chain of commerce, transferred a product in the course of his business” if the product was used “as reasonably anticipated” and:
- The product was then in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous when put to a reasonably anticipated use, and the plaintiff was damaged as a direct result of such defective condition as existed when the product was sold; or
- The product was then unreasonably dangerous when put to a reasonably anticipated use without knowledge of its characteristics, and the plaintiff was damaged as a direct result of the product being sold without an adequate warning.
In Illinois, a product liability action is defined as “a civil action brought on any theory against a manufacturer or product seller for harm caused by a product.”
Common Defective Products
Several types of consumer products have been frequent subjects of faulty-product lawsuits and include:
- Pharmaceuticals, including over-the-counter medicines and prescription drugs
- Motor vehicles, including cars, trucks, motorcycles and their tires and other parts
- Recreational vehicles (RVs)
- Boats and personal watercraft (Jet Ski/ WaveRunner type watercraft)
- All-terrain vehicles (ATVs)
- Medical devices, such as breast, hip and knee implants
- Cribs, car seats, strollers, toys and other children’s products
- Household appliances and electronic devices
- Power tools
- Lawn mowers and other yard equipment
- Construction materials, including types of defective drywall
Malfunctioning products can cause burns, lacerations (cuts), contusions (bruises), traumatic brain injuries and electric shock, among other injuries. Foods may cause food poisoning / foodborne illness. Faulty products can even lead to an innocent consumer’s death.
Individuals injured by irresponsible manufacturing or design that led to a defective and dangerous product have a right to compensation for their losses. This would include money for medical bills, including the cost of doctor visits and/or hospital stays; lost wages during recovery; future lost wages in cases of debilitating injury, pain and suffering.
What Defects Can Lead to a Product Liability Lawsuit?
The Missouri and Illinois products liability attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm have successfully litigated numerous cases in which an unsuspecting consumer suffered injuries directly caused by a an error in product design, manufacturing or warning.
- Design Defects– A product can have a design defect if the design of the product is inherently unsafe.
- Manufacturing Defects– A product can have a manufacturing defect if the design is sound but some kind of error in the manufacturing process caused a flaw that renders the product unsafe.
- Warning Defects– A product can have a warning defect if it does not have sufficient instructions or warnings about its use, and this lack of adequate information results in injury to its user.
How Can I Win My Product Liability Case?
In order to have a successful product liability claim, you will need to demonstrate quantifiable loss, which can include injury or property damage. Additionally, you will need to demonstrate that the loss was caused by an unexpected danger or defect of the product, and that the designer, manufacturer, distributor or some other party is responsible for the unexpected danger or defect. It should also be important to note whether consumers were sufficiently notified the danger. Also, if possible it should be noted whether the defendant knew of any other accidents involving the product. You will also need to show that your injuries were not a result of your own negligence.
If you’ve been injured by a defective product, save the product or be certain that you or a family member secures the defective product as it is valuable evidence.
Contact the product liability lawyers at The Cagle Law Firm today at 800.685.3302, or through our online contact form, for a free consultation. Your case is safe with us.