Manufacturers, regardless of the products they make, are required to ensure that the goods they release into the stream of commerce are safe for normal use or consumption. When a product causes an injury or death, the manufacturer may be liable to those injured as a result of their product. In some cases, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers of a dangerous product may also be held liable. These lawsuits are called product liability lawsuits.
Product liability lawsuits break down into three categories: negligence, breach of warranty, and strict liability. Negligence claims rely on the fact that the manufacturer was somehow negligent in the design or production of the item. These claims also include a manufacturer’s failure to warn about the dangerous propensities of a product.
Breach of warranty claims arise when there is an express or implied warranty that a product is safe for a certain kind of use, and that turns out not to be the case. These cases are brought under a breach-of-contract theory because the plaintiff is alleging that the manufacturer failed to “live up to their end of the deal.”
Finally, strict liability claims arise when the product was dangerous because it was defective. There is no need for a plaintiff to show that the seller or manufacturer of the product was reckless or negligent in any way. Instead, the plaintiff needs to prove that:
- The product was unreasonably dangerous;
- It left the defendant’s control in that state;
- The product’s defect was the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries; and
- No other party altered the product after it left the defendant’s control.
It is important that potential plaintiffs know that they are not limited to choosing just one of these claims. A plaintiff can file a lawsuit alleging all three.
Ikea Faces Another Lawsuit Based on Faulty Dressers
Earlier this month, another lawsuit was filed against the furniture giant Ikea, alleging that they sold dressers knowing that they have the tendency to tip over when they are not secured to the wall. According to one news article, a two-year-old boy was killed when an Ikea dresser toppled over on top of him. The boy was immediately taken to the hospital by his parents, where he remained on a ventilator for four days before passing away.
The family sued Ikea, alleging that the company’s dressers do not meet industry standards for stability. Rather than recall the product, the family’s attorney told reporters, Ikea has shifted the burden onto customers by providing anchors and suggesting customers attach the furniture to the wall.
Have You Been Injured by a Dangerous Product?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured by a dangerous product, you may be entitled to monetary compensation to help you recover the costs associated with your injuries. Products liability law is complex, and to make sure you know what lies ahead it is recommended you speak to a dedicated and experienced Washington, D.C. personal injury attorney. The skilled advocates at the Maryland and Washington D.C. personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have decades of experience successfully bringing cases on behalf of their clients. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation.
More Blog Posts:
New Research Suggests Amateur Athletes May Also Be at Risk for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, December 17, 2015
Ski Injury Plaintiff’s Case Dismissed for Lack of Causation, a Critical Element in Any Negligence Case, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, December 10, 2015