If you were injured by a defective product, whether a defective children’s toy or a motorcycle part, your lawsuit should identify all persons and entities that may be liable for your injuries. Depending on the product this may be a challenge, but it is ultimately essential in order to obtain compensation.
If you are suing under a negligence theory (generally, lack of reasonable care under the circumstances), the comparative negligence standard can reduce your damages in relation to those of other parties by the percentage you were at fault. You can still potentially recover reduced monies. Under the old law, an individual defendant could be held accountable for the whole judgment amount against many defendants, regardless of their percentage of fault. Currently, if an individual defendant cannot pay his or her respective percentage of fault, you cannot look for another defendant to make up the difference.
Some potential defendants include:
It is advantageous to name all parties involved in the chain of distribution — the road the product travelled from manufacturer to distributer to retailer — to you, the injury victim. This may involve a confusing number of individuals and corporations.
Generally, you may sue the manufacturer on the basis that the defective manufacturing, design or marketing of a product was known, or should have been known, to be dangerous. In a manufacturing defect case, this can include quality assurance freelancers. In a defective design action, this may include outside design advisers. If the lawsuit involves a failure to warn about product dangers, this may include specialists who prepared instructions for product use. Additionally, if the defective product is just a product component — for example, a motorcycle battery that ignited — you may sue the battery and motorcycle manufacturers.
When suing for defective product damages, you do not necessarily have to be the customer who bought the product or the person who used the product. This may have particular relevance when suing the retailer.
For more than 35 years, we have helped product liability injury victims make sense of complex issues to receive just compensation. Please contact the Law Offices of Cohn & Smith, PA for a free consultation.