Products that are dangerous or defective result in thousands of Florida consumers to suffer death and injury every single year.
At The Ansara Law Firm, our dedicated Fort Lauderdale product liability lawyers are committed to fighting for justice on behalf of those blindsided by injury or wrongful death caused by product defects.
Consumers have the legal right to expect the goods they purchase and use are safe. Manufacturers and distributors are responsible to make sure their products meet certain safety standards before they reach the shelves. Even when products are misused, manufacturers and distributors have a responsibility to take into account reasonably foreseeable uses and either mitigate the danger or adequately warn about it.
Unfortunately, far too many businesses are all too eager to put profits ahead of the well-being of people. This isn’t unique to any one industry. Our Florida defective product lawyers have seen this with:
- Medical Devices
- Children’s Products/ Car Seats
- Pool/ Spa/ Pool Products
- Dangerous Drugs
- Defective Autos
- Dangerous Foods
- Malfunctioning Machinery or Equipment
- Defective Design, Manufacturing Defect
- Breach of Warranty
- Negligent Maintenance or Repair
When a consumer suffers injury as a result of a defective product, there may be multiple parties that could be held to account. These may include:
- All others who make products available to the public
In order to prevail in a product liability claim in Florida, one must first determine which theory of liability to pursue.Theories of Product Liability in Florida
There are three main types of product liability claims in Florida. These are:
- Strict Liability
- Breach of Warranty
In order to prevail on a theory of negligence in a product liability lawsuit, a plaintiff needs to show:
- Manufacturer had a legal duty to design and make the product reasonably safe for use;
- Manufacturer breached that duty;
- Plaintiff suffered an injury that was legally caused by this breach of duty;
- Plaintiff suffered damages.
To succeed in a product liability lawsuit on a theory of strict liability, plaintiffs have to show:
- There was a relationship between defendant and product;
- Product contained a defect which resulted in its being unreasonably dangerous;
- The defect of the product caused the user to suffer harm.
Claims pursued for negligence tend to focus more heavily on the manufacturer’s duty, while strict liability claims turn the scrutiny toward the product itself.
With regard to breach of warranty, consumers need to understand there are two basic warranties on which buyers can rely upon when they purchase a product: Express and implied. An express warranty is any representation made by the manufacturer or retailer regarding the safety of the product. An implied warranty is an implied promise by the manufacturer or other liable party that the product, when used as intended, isn’t going to cause any harm. Therefore, to prove a breach of warranty claim, plaintiffs have to show:
- An express or implied warranty existed;
- The terms of that warranty were breached;
- Plaintiff suffered injury as a direct result of that breach of warranty.
Although damages in a defective product case may vary, consumers generally can recovery:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Mental/ emotional anguish
Determining who is responsible when a product is unreasonably dangerous is not always a straightforward matter. The fact is, any party that is involved in the chain of distribution of a defective product could be held liable for resulting injuries. Including all parties in this chain is important when filing a claim. These may include:
- Manufacturer. This could involve the maker of a single part of the product or the maker of the entire product itself.
- Retailer. Any retailer that puts a product up for sale is implying that the product is safe for public use. Therefore, retailers can be held liable if the product turns out to be unsafe. It’s important to note plaintiffs don’t necessarily have to be the one who purchased the product in order to pursue damages against the retailer.
- Wholesaler. Otherwise known as “the middleman.”
When filing a product liability lawsuit, plaintiffs have to be clear the type of defect they are asserting. In some cases, a product may have more than one type of defect. Usually, claims will involve at least one of the following:
- Design Defect. This is a flaw in the original outline or design of a product that results in it being unreasonably hazardous for users. This type of flaw would be found in all of the products manufactured with this same blueprint.
- Manufacturing Defect. This is caused by some type of mistake or flaw in the assembly of the product. Usually we’ll see this in a single batch or a small number of the company’s overall goods manufactured.
- Failure to Warn. Manufacturers have a responsibility to warn consumers about the possible risk or provide adequate instructions that could prevent a foreseeable injury. Failure to do so will open a manufacturer to liability.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a defective product in South Florida, we can help.
Contact Fort Lauderdale Defective Product Attorney Richard Ansara at The Ansara Law Firm by calling toll-free (888) 267-2728.