Types of Florida Product Liability Claims

Florida law allows you to hold designers, manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors liable for the injuries you suffer because of their products. Florida law also allows family members to file a claim and collect compensation on behalf of a loved one who died in an accident caused by a defective or dangerous product. In Florida, products liability claims generally consist of two causes of action: negligence and strict liability.

Negligence

Manufacturers have a duty to make a safe product that does not put consumers in unreasonable danger. They are responsible for safely designing and testing the product to ensure proper quality, and monitoring complaints about injuries consumers suffer from their products. If they fail to follow through on any of these things, they may send a product to market that has a dangerous design, faulty production, or poor instructions. This could lead to accidents and injuries, forming the basis for a product liability lawsuit.

To prove negligence, we will need to show that there was an issue with the product and that this issue directly led to your injuries. We likely also need to show you did not alter the product in any substantial way or create the danger by using it in an unexpected or unreasonable way. The product in question plays a key role in proving these cases.

Strict Liability

Strict liability is common in defective product cases. In these cases, we can hold the manufacturer or other parties liable if we can show the product had a defect and this defect caused your injuries. Unlike the negligence theory, strict liability does not take the manufacturer’s conduct into account. Strict liability tends to fall into one of the three following categories:

  1. Design defects

A design defect exists when a defect is inherent in the design of the product itself. A product is unreasonably dangerous because of its design if the product fails to perform as safely as an ordinary consumer would expect when used as intended or when used in a manner reasonably foreseeable by the manufacturer.  This means that even if a product was manufactured and assembled flawlessly, it can still endanger the user due to a faulty design. Such a claim is determined by the “consumer expectation test,” which states that a product is considered unreasonably dangerous if it does not perform as safely as reasonably expected when a consumer uses it in its intended manner.

Examples:

  • A small toy that can be easily swallowed by a child.
  • A car that can accelerate suddenly on its own.
  • A gun safety that still allows the gun to be fired.
  1. Failure to Warn

A “failure to warn” or “marketing defect” exists when a product is designed and created properly but was not accompanied by adequate instructions or warnings. The lack of warnings made the product unreasonably dangerous to its intended users.

Examples:

  • A medication that causes serious side effects.
  • A child’s chair meant to clamp onto a table that falls if not properly installed.
  • A log-splitting device that causes serious injury if one’s hand is in the wrong place.
  1. Manufacturing Defect

A manufacturing defect exists when a product deviates from its intended design. Even if the product was safely designed, the final product that left the manufacturing facility was not in harmony with that concept. If such a product causes injury to a consumer, the manufacturer can be liable.  This typically occurs when a single product, or a handful of products, comes out differently from the rest of the products made on the same assembly line.

Examples:

  • Tread separation on tires.
  • A faulty handle on a car door.
  • A safety lock on a car seat.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury because of a dangerous or defective product, Miller Trial Law may be able to get you the compensation that you deserve. Please call us today at (305) 697-8312 for a free, no-risk consultation. We look forward to serving you!