When a product liability claim is brought up, it can very quickly turn expensive for the company it is against. Product liability could be a single claim or become a class action depending on the circumstances.
Either way, it could cost your company a large sum of money. You want to ensure you protect your business as best as you can in the event someone brings a claim against you.
Do you need legal assistance in helping defend a product liability claim from persistent plaintiffs? Contact an experienced and knowledgeable West Virginia law firm to assist with a product liability lawsuit. The attorneys at Orndorff Mowen PLLC are here for you. Call our law office at 866-481-2765 to schedule a consultation.
What Is Product Liability?
When an individual or group brings a product liability claim against a business, they typically seek both economic and non-economic damages for any expense or suffering they endured. There are three types of personal injury cases associated with product liability.
A strict liability case is brought against a company when a plaintiff claims a product they used was defective and led to an injury. The claim could be related to defects in product design, manufacturing, or packaging. The focus of the claim is on the product itself. For example, the defective product could be a medical device, such as a pacemaker, CPAP, or cochlear implant.
In product liability cases where negligence is the basis for the claim, the case focuses on the action of a company, not the actual product. Usually, these types of cases are linked to design defects, manufacturing mistakes, sales/marketing communications (no warnings, labels, or other important directives), or other actions or decisions a company makes. Essentially, the claim suggests a company either acted irresponsibly or did not take proper care and caused the plaintiff’s injury.
Breach of Warranty
This type of claim suggests a company or retailer did not hold up its responsibilities in a contract it entered. In other words, the company (defendant) is accused of not honoring a contract or other binding agreement into which they entered.
In many cases, the product or company is not at fault but is caused by the plaintiff or simply by unforeseen circumstances that led to an injury. When product liability claims occur, companies will need to demonstrate the harm the product allegedly caused to a person was not because of the product and that they have no ground to sue the company due to a lack of responsibility.
Product Liability Defenses For Your Company
How you approach product liability litigation will depend upon your situation. The following are a few of the more common defense strategies for your company that your defense attorneys are likely to use if you are facing a product liability claim against one of your products.
One of the important factors to consider is whether or not the person bringing a product liability case to court made the correct use of the product. In a scenario of a plaintiff’s negligence is found due to misuse of a product instead of the way it was designed to be used, a product liability attorney can try to prove the plaintiff was the cause of the injury using a comparative negligence or contributory negligence legal strategy.
Chain of Production
This defense is to change where the blame falls, effectively reducing financial risk by stating that somewhere along the chain of production, something occurred. The intent of this defense is to show the defect occurred in conditions where your company had no control when the product was made.
Modification of Product
After a company sells a product to the customer and delivers it, they no longer have control over the product. If the consumer modifies or alters the product in any way from its original condition and leads to injury, a company can often prove the injury was due to actions taken on the part of the consumer or another party, such as the distributor or vendor.
In some cases, it can also be argued a product modified by another party after the product manufacturer delivered it created safety hazards, leading to a plaintiff’s injury and a subsequent negligence claim.
Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations defense is another one of the common defenses a company can use as a legal strategy. For instance, in West Virginia, the plaintiff must take action within two years from the date the injury occurred. Each state has its own statute of limitations, and the timeframe can vary.
Duration of a Product Liability Case
It is hard to predict the duration of a product liability case since a variety of factors will impact how the case progresses. Generally speaking, the longer a case continues, the more expensive it could become.
The Attorneys at Orndorff Mowen Are Your Solution
The knowledgeable product liability attorneys at Orndorff Mowen PLLC are equipped to offer you and your business a strong defensive stance. Our experience, along with our ability to represent our clients in a more cost-effective manner when compared to other firms, can provide you with the type of legal representation you want and need.
In the event a case cannot be resolved, we know how to present a case to increase your chances of success in trial. We have seen many of these cases go to trial and have the expertise of knowing how to gather, evaluate, and present facts.
Build an Effective Defense When Faced With Product Liability Claims
At Orndorff Mowen PLLC, we have extensive experience with product liability law. The companies located in West Virginia, along with Virginia, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania, and nationally, that work with us will find our law firm puts a high priority on their best interests.
We put high value on the attorney-client relationship and will fight diligently to protect your business. To learn more about how our attorneys can help fight back with a strong defense against product liability claims, contact our law firm at 866-481-2765 to schedule a consultation. For your convenience, we also offer an online contact form.