What is Product Liability?
When a consumer is harmed due to the defective nature of the product, in many cases the manufacturer or seller can be held liable. Just as with any lawsuit involving an Orlando personal injury lawyer, when the negligence of another person results in injury or distress to you and loved ones then due compensation for medical bills, missed work, damaged property and more must be paid. Manufacturers and retailers of every industry are morally and legally required to take responsible actions in ensuring the quality and safety of their products. There are no unavoidable “accidents”. If a defective product causes you harm, speak to a qualified injury attorney in Orlando regarding your rights.
Famous Product Liability Cases
Knowledgeable personal injury attorneys in Orlando, FL and throughout the country are familiar with these famous product liability cases that have shaped current legislation as we know it today.
Escola v Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Fresno
This famous lawsuit involved a waitress in 1944, who suffered from lacerations and muscle damage when a glass Coca-Cola bottle exploded in her hands. The Supreme Court of California ruled in favor of the plaintiff, setting the precedent of responsibility in the hands of manufacturers.
Blitz Gas Cans
After 46 years of operation as the country’s leading gas can producer, Blitz Gas Cans was finally forced out of business when unable to keep up with the numerous product liability lawsuits against them. The cans had a problem of exploding when poured over an open flame, and several people were badly burned and injured. Although the company attempted to avoid fault in claiming misuse on the part of the consumer, lawyers were able to argue that the cans should have been made with safety shields to prevent such explosions.
Sacramento Kings v Ledraplastic
In 1998, a player on the Sacramento Kings broke his arm when an exercise ball exploded under his weight. Because the ball failed to hold to its warranty of 600 pounds, the manufacturers were quickly held liable. Ledraplastic ended up paying out millions of dollars not only for medical expenses but for missed wages of the player who was no longer able to perform.
Liebeck v McDonalds
This infamous case made headline news when the judge awarded a shockingly high reward in favor of the plaintiff. A customer suffered third-degree burns and succeeded in her claim of product liability because the restaurant served their coffee unreasonably hot. There was evidence presented at the trial that McDonald’s was aware of prior similar burns for the coffee being too hot, but chose not to reduce the temperature for fear that coffee sales would drop. The blatant disregard for safety proved excessively negligent, and the ruling held firm.
How is the Manufacturer Proved Negligent?
Your personal injury attorney in Orlando will prove product liability with one or more of these three crucial arguments:
If a vendor or manufacturer is fully aware of the potential risks of a product but makes no attempt to remedy or warn the consumer then there is an obvious case of negligence. The infamous McDonald’s case, for example, was largely backed by the fact that the location had been previously warned of dangerously high serving temperatures.
Strict liability holds manufacturers responsible for the safety of their products, even if there is no negligence involved. The exploding Coca-Cola bottle was an unanticipated event, but the plaintiff was still unfairly harmed and deserved compensation.
Breach of Warranty
Even if it is only implied, all products all sold with the understanding the item is not defective or unsafe. For cases like the Ledraplastic exercise ball, the product’s inability to withstand normal expected use was a cause for liability.