Product Liability Lawyers St. Louis
Dixon Injury Firm’s product liability lawyers in St. Louis provide exceptional legal counsel to clients.
Corporations today often attempt to place shareholder profits ahead of public safety. This need to drive profits often results in unnecessary harm to unsuspecting victims. All too often companies are rushing products to the market without a safe product design or failing to warn the public of known dangers.
If you have been injured by a defective product, Missouri law allows you to recover damages from the manufacturer, distributor or seller for all of your harms and losses.
Our firm provides a broad range of legal services. This includes personal injury, workers compensation, product liability, and other claims. Our St. Louis product liability lawyers bring grade-a legal counsel to clients and their families. Please contact us for more info and a free consultation from our product liability lawyers.
St. Louis, MO, Product Liability Attorneys
When you pursue a product liability case in St. Louis, it’s important to secure legal counsel with experience. Dixon Injury Firm’s personal injury and workers comp lawyers ensure clients have the resources they need to win a settlement. Here are a couple questions to ask St. Louis product liability attorneys:
How much will legal counsel cost me? This depends on the product liability case and various factors. Dixon uses a contingency system, which means our services are free.
How much would I win? Again, this also depends on the case. Dixon’s St. Louis product liability attorneys fight to win clients medical expenses, personal hardship, and other compensation.
What do I do now? The next step is to contact us for more information and consultation from our product liability lawyers.
Who Is Liable When You Are Injured By A Product?
Missouri defines product liability in its Statutes Section 537.760. It says a “product liability claim” occurs when (1) the defendant sold a product as part of a business, (2) the product was used as reasonably anticipated, and (3) the product was either defective or it was unreasonably dangerous to sell without an adequate warning. The defendant is “strictly liable” for any damages that are caused. This is not much different than the law in the rest of the country.
In short, this means that whoever sold the defective product is liable for any damages that it causes. Usually, when someone is injured accidentally by another person they will have to show that the person that caused the injury was “negligent.” Being negligent means the injury was caused because the liable person acted unreasonably and created the risk of harm. In a product liability case, that is not necessary because whoever sold the product is liable even if they acted reasonably.
Strict liability is important in a modern economy because people almost never buy something that was entirely made by one person or company. A car, for example, is filled with products made by dozens if not hundreds of manufacturers around the world. Strict liability means that whoever sells the car is liable for any defects, even if the defect was caused by another company. For instance, if an airbag is faulty then the person hurt will usually sue the car manufacturer but then the car manufacturer can turn around and sue the airbag company for selling a defective airbag.
Types of Defective Product Liability Claims in Missouri
There is no limit on the types of items that may be subject to a product liability suit. They can include mechanical and electronic devices, drugs and medical devices, complex machinery and even items as simple as tarp straps and slingshots. Numerous products are already known to the government as defective and dangerous, listed in broad categories such as Consumer Products, Motor Vehicles, Boats, Food, Medicine, Cosmetics, and Environmental Products. In addition, recently recalled products are listed as they become known. The U.S. Government website also provides a product recall search for consumers.
Some of the most common items involved in product liability cases:
- Car tires
- Car brakes
- Kitchen appliances such as coffee makers, toasters, ovens and cooktops
- Sump pumps
- Air conditioners
- Space heaters
- SUV Rollovers
- Airplanes and airplane parts
- Medical devices, including valves, implants and prostheses
- Prescription drugs
- Food Poising
- Cell phones and batteries
- Laptops and batteries
Product liability claims generally revolve around one of the following three areas:
1. Defectively Manufactured Products: This type of defect occurs in the manufacturing process, causing a flaw to the product that makes it different from others being produced and sold. An example would be a swing set with a cracked seat or chain, or a bicycle missing a brake pad. The problem which occurred while the product was being made must be the cause of your injury in order to seek reimbursement for your damages.
2. Defectively Designed Products: A product with a defective design means the entire line of products are inherently dangerous, not simply a single one. This type of product liability case is not related to the products manufacture. An example would be space heaters that routinely catch fire due to improper wiring or line of ATV’s that have a tendency to flip over while turning. The defective design, and not improper use must be the cause of the injury in order to successfully seek reimbursement for your harms and losses.
3. A Failure to Provide Adequate Warnings or Instructions: In the rush for companies to get a product to the market or to simply save costs, warnings are often left off products. Often companies think that providing a full warning of all known dangers will decrease sales. In addition, companies often do not want to undertake the costs of providing full and detailed instructions on how to safely use a product. Often drug companies fail to warn those consuming their products of the known risks of the medication. The failure to adequately warn or instruct must be the cause of injury in order to pursue reimbursement for your loss.
Product Liability Makes the World Safer
The public’s view of products and liability is largely shaped by famous cases that wind up in the news, even though the details of the cases are not always common knowledge. One of the most famous cases involved hot coffee. In 1992, a 79-year-old woman named Stella Liebek was a passenger in a car that pulled up to a McDonalds drive-through window. When she tried to put cream and sugar into the coffee, she spilled it all over her legs and she was severely burned.
This case has become perhaps the most famous product liability lawsuit, because a jury awarded her $200,000 in compensatory damages and $2.7 million in punitive damages. The case became a flashpoint in the national media because many people considered it frivolous, but Ms. Liebek suffered full thickness burns on 6% of her body, including her thighs, groin, and genitals. McDonald’s sold its coffee unreasonably hot, 180 to 190 degrees, when most restaurants serve coffee at a much safer 135 to 140 degrees.
NOTE: If you or a loved one has been hurt by a defective product, do NOT get rid of the product. The harmful product is now also evidence that may be needed at trial. Do everything you can to preserve the item.