Types of Lawsuits that may arise from Products Liability
When a product is defective or dangerous, there is a high probability that an injury will result. After an injury, many individuals rightfully seek compensation for the damages suffered as a result of the injury. In Florida, there are several theories an injured party can assert to seek liability for a dangerous or defective product. The legislature has identified four different theories through which an injured party can seek recovery for damages caused by a defect in the manufacturing, construction, designing, installation, or assembly of a product. However, this article will discuss the three most common theories of recovery, which are as follows:
- Negligence: There are four essential requirements to successfully assert a claim in any negligence action. An injured party must show that (a) a duty existed to the consumer of a product; (b) that duty was breached by selling a defective product; (3) the defect was the cause of the injuries; and (4) damages resulted. In Florida, there is a duty to protect consumers by selling products that are reasonably free of defects and are not dangerous. In products liability cases, a claimant may show that breach occurs by proving it is more likely than not that the defendant knew or should have known that the product was defective.
- Strict Products Liability: Most products liability cases are pursued under the theory of strict liability. In strict liability cases, the court is not concerned with determining who is at fault, but rather, whether there was a defect in a product. If a defect exists in a product, the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer may be liable to a claimant for injuries sustained. However, the claimant must successfully show that the defect existed while the product was within their control. In addition, the item must have been obtained by the injured party while within the chain of distribution (the path of the product between the manufacturer and the retailer where the product is sold).
- Breach of Warranty: There are two different types of warranties for which a breach of warranty claim could arise. The breach of an express warranty occurs when a representation is made about the functionality of a product or its safety. For example, if a party is a manufacturer or seller who represents that a motorized scooter can safely travel at a maximum speed of 25 mph when it is extremely dangerous at such speed, a cause of action may be instituted against the manufacturer, seller or distributor who made such representation. An implied warranty is not based on any concrete representation; instead, this is an implied promise that a product will be safe for the intended use.
Contact Eighmie Law Firm, P.A.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, contact us for an initial consultation. Eighmie Law Firm, P.A. is a firm with a team of Port St. Lucie lawyers who work hard to help other families who have been injured from defective products placed on the market.