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What Is Product Liability?
Product liability laws are used to hold reckless parties such as manufacturers and sellers responsible when dangerous or defective products cause people harm. Each state has its own laws governing product liability to protect consumers.
Kentucky law allows people to pursue a personal injury or wrongful death claim for damages “caused by or resulting from the manufacture, construction, design, formulation, development of standards, preparation, processing, assembly, testing, listing, certifying, warning, instructing, marketing, advertising, packaging or labeling of any product.”
Common Types of Product Liability Claims
A whole range of products can injure people if the products aren’t manufactured correctly or if sellers don’t alert consumers to risks. While manufacturers and sellers are not responsible for every injury involving their products, they can be held liable if they were negligent.
Some common types of product liability claims include:
- Dangerous drugs: We depend on medication to help keep us healthy and help us recover from illnesses. However, drugs occasionally do more harm than good. Sometimes medicines are manufactured incorrectly. For example, multiple brands of baby ibuprofen were recalled in early 2019 after bottles were incorrectly loaded with high concentrations of the drug that could cause serious kidney and gastrointestinal issues.
In other cases, the drugs themselves are inherently dangerous, and manufacturers might be liable if they fail to adequately warn doctors and patients of the product’s risks. For example, manufacturers of opioid drugs have recently been ordered to pay millions of dollars for deceptively marketing opioids as safe, contributing to the epidemic of opioid addiction and overdose.
- Medical devices: Devices that are supposed to treat diseases and disabilities can sometimes make them worse. Examples of medical devices that have recently faced issues include contraceptives, stents used to prevent artery blockages, implanted defibrillators used to control heart rhythms, and joint replacements for knees and hips.
- Auto parts: Consequences can be deadly when cars, trucks, and motorcycles are sold with defective designs, devices, and parts. Defects are discovered every year that have caused terrifying and dangerous situations like brake failure, unexpected acceleration, rollovers, and tire blowouts.
- Toys and children’s products: Parents place their trust in manufacturers that produce important children’s products such as toys, cribs, and car seats. These products are required to meet multiple safety standards, yet they are routinely defective and cause harm to vulnerable and innocent children. Even scarier, product risks and defects often aren’t discovered until multiple children have been injured or killed.
- Tools: Users of tools, such as industrial equipment, appliances, and power tools, typically understand they are undertaking some risk by using these devices. However, they also expect the products to meet certain safety standards. If a tool is faulty or defective, it can cause serious injuries, such as amputation, electrocution, or paralysis.
- Safety equipment: Safety equipment includes things like steel-toed boots, goggles, and dust masks that are meant to protect people from dangerous conditions. Whether on the job or at home, we rely on safety equipment to do just that – keep us safe. When these devices fail, it leads to debilitating and life-altering injuries.
For example, defective coal dust masks and respirators have left many coal miners across Kentucky and central Appalachia exposed to toxic substances, leading to black lung. Coal miners have suffered health issues after using these products for decades, under the promise that the masks and respirators would protect them. In cases like this, negligent manufacturers must be held accountable.
No matter what type of product caused your injury or illness, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. At Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer, we are here to answer your questions and give you the Kentucky Courage you need to take on a negligent corporation.
Contact us today for your free consultation.