We assume when we buy a product, that it will function the way it is advertised to. But, sometimes there is a defect in the product and that can cause someone to get hurt. In Texas, it doesn’t matter if you were negligent, if the product is defective and it injured you, the company that made it is liable.
First, our defective product claims attorneys will briefly explain the types of defective product claims and then we will share with you some of the most famous cases.
Defectively Designed Products
When a product is manufactured, it is built to the specifications of the plans. Here is how you can tell. ABC Design company hires X manufacturer to make a bicycle tire and it is made to their design plan. When the bike is ridden, the tire comes apart. If just one bicycle has this problem, it can be a manufacturing problem. If every bike tire made to those specs comes apart, it is more likely a design flaw. Of course, that is not always the case.
Defectively Manufactured Products
Using the same scenario, let’s say that the tires were made to the design, but the manufacturer did not use the correct materials when they made one batch of tires. All of the other tires made by this design are good, but one batch continually fails and someone gets hurt. This is a manufacturing flaw and the manufacturer is liable.
Failure to Provide Adequate Instructions or Warnings
Now let’s say that the manufacture knows that the tires will fail if they are used at a high rate of speed for more than 3 minutes. However, they did not provide a clear warning to you, and you are buying the tire for a race. When the tire fails, it is the manufacturer that is liable.
What can you do?
If you have been hurt by a product, you should contact an attorney. Contacting the manufacturer or designer will likely get you the runaround and even if they offer to replace the product, that does not take care of your injury, medical bills, or pain. Contact an attorney and let them take the problem where it belongs. They will either pay what is fair or go to court.
Famous Cases Involving Defective Products
McDonalds vs. Liebeck
In 1994, Stella Liebeck purchased a cup of coffee from a McDonalds to-go window. The 79-year-old woman spilled the coffee in her lap. The coffee was so hot that she got third degree burns in her pelvic area, was hospitalized for several days, and had to undergo skin grafts. Liebeck’s attorney claimed that the coffee was hotter at that restaurant than it would have been at other restaurants. Further, they knew the coffee was excessively hot and failed to warn their customers. Ms. Liebeck originally asked McDonald’s to pay her medical costs. When they refused, she sued them and won $2.86 million dollars.
Grimshaw vs. Ford Motor Company
The Ford Pinto was a popular car in the 1970s. In 1972, Lily Gray and Richard Grimshaw were traveling in a Ford Pinto. The car was stuck in a rear-end collision and burst into flames. Both passengers were killed. The two families involved sued Ford Motor Company on the grounds that they knew there was a design flaw and the cars were dangerous and Ford did nothing to stop it or warn the people who owned them. Ford Motor Company lost the suit to the tune of $127.8 million dollars and this resulted in a massive recall of the vehicle.
What we can learn from these cases is that if you are a victim of a flawed product, contact a defective product claims attorney.