Florida Product Liability and Defective Product Claims

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Product liability cases usually involve an unusual legal theory called strict liability. Under this theory the person injured, or plaintiff, doesn’t have to prove that the manufacturer or seller of a product were negligent or careless in producing or selling it. The manufacturer and seller have a duty to produce and sell a safe product. The plaintiff has to show:

  1. The product wasn’t safe;
  2. The plaintiff suffered an injury; and
  3. The product caused the injury.

If you or someone you love has suffered harm because of a defective or unreasonably dangerous product, the first thing to do is to have your case evaluated by a qualified Florida product liability attorney. See Florida Product Liability Lawyers and Attorneys for more information. A product liability case will probably involve some or all of the following legal theories:

Manufacturing Defect. A product has a manufacturing defect if it doesn’t comply with the manufacturer’s design and specifications for the product. This means there is some kind of error or mistake in the manufacturing process. Obviously, it would be very difficult for a consumer to prove what goes on in the manufacturing process, an area completely under the manufacturer’s control. So the law has been developed in a way that the consumer doesn’t have to prove negligence in this situation.

Design Defect. A design defect, on the other hand, is found in a product that is manufactured according to the design and specifications, but the design itself is faulty in some way. A walk-in freezer that cannot be opened from the inside would be a good example. People can be expected to walk into the freezer, and the door might easily close behind them. In that case they would need to be able to open the door from the inside to get out.

If the plaintiff can show that the product could have been designed in a safe way at a reasonable cost, he or she doesn’t have to show that there was any negligence in the design. The unsafe design and the possible alternative is enough. In our example, a walk-in freezer is an expensive item, and it would not cost a great deal more to put a handle on the inside.

Warning and Instruction Defect. This kind of defect is sometimes called a marketing defect since both warnings and instructions are provided in the marketing process. Manufacturers and sellers have a duty to warn purchasers and users about known dangers in the product, and the warning must be clear and put in a place where the user of the product will likely see it. Instructions must warn about dangers and give clear directions on using the product safely. For example, if a chemical is toxic if mixed with another chemical commonly used in the same context, the instructions for the product should warn users not to mix them.

Unavoidably Dangerous Products. Some products must be dangerous in order to do what they are intended to do. Blowtorches are exceedingly hot, guns shoot bullets, and knives are sharp. These are dangerous conditions, but not unreasonably dangerous because these products must be dangerous in order to serve the purpose for which they are designed. Manufacturers and sellers don’t have to warn about dangers that are obvious to the user, but must warn about any unusual danger or ones the user could not reasonably be expected to know.

Consult a Florida product liability lawyer if you have been injured by a defective or faulty product. Your Florida product liability attorney can help you sort through the events that led up to your injury to determine the strength of your case. Your attorney can also help you file a claim before your state’s deadline (also known as the statute of limitations).

If you would like to have your case evaluated by an experienced Florida product liability attorney, fill out our case evaluation form at no cost or obligation.

Check out the following articles for more information about Florida product liability, filing a Florida product liability lawsuit and finding a Florida product liability attorney.

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