If you or a loved one suffered a personal injury from a defectively designed or manufactured product in Los Angeles, you may be able to hold the manufacturer and other parties liable for your injury. California law provides that vendors and manufacturers must take reasonable safety measures to prevent a potentially dangerous product from being placed in the stream of commerce.
California follows a strict liability policy when it comes to defective or dangerous products. What this means is that unlike other personal injury claims, victims do not need to prove any manner of negligence on the part of the manufacturer or distributor.
Elements of a products liability personal injury lawsuit
As a matter of public policy, California places a strong burden on product designers, manufacturers, and distributors to make sure their products are safe and do not cause harm to ordinary individuals who cannot protect themselves. Important aspects of a products liability suit include:
- The injured consumer used the product in the manner it was designed for
- The product left the factory or warehouse with defects
- The defective product was the substantial cause of the injury
When filing suit for a defectively designed product, plaintiffs must prove one of two tests: the consumer expectation test or the risk/benefit test.
- Consumer expectation test – The product did not perform as safely as ordinary users would reasonably expect
- Risk/benefit test – Designers failed to show the benefits of their product outweighed the risks involved in its use
Consumers may not file products liability lawsuits for certain classes of products. These are known as inherently dangerous products. They include:
- Firearms and ammunition
- Personal consumption products such as foods known by ordinary persons to be bad for one’s health (sugary or fatty foods)
- Prescription drugs
- Medical devices
The standard for proving defectively manufactured products in California is a product that performs differently than designed for identically produced products. This means that if a product fails and injures the consumer where all others in the same product line do not, the product may be considered to be defectively manufactured.
Plaintiffs alleging defectively manufactured products must show:
- The defendant named in the suit manufactured the product
- There was a defect in the product when it left the facility
- The plaintiff suffered harm and the defect was a substantial cause of the accident
Inadequate warnings or instructions
Product makers may sell potentially dangerous products but only if they are accompanied by warning labels or instructions to allow the consumer to operate them in a reasonably safe manner. Consumers have the right to know about the risks commercially available products may pose and and to choose to abstain from purchase or use based on that risk.
Los Angeles products liability attorneys
California products liability laws are very complex, yet afford consumer a great deal of recourse if harmed by defectively designed, manufactured, or mislabeled products. If you or a loved one was harmed by a product, contact an experienced Los Angeles products liability attorney for a consultation about your case.