Product Liability Lawyers in San Francisco
Seeking Justice for Injuries Caused by Defective Products
Producers of consumer goods in the United States of America are bound by law to consider their customers' safety and minimize their risk of being hurt by a dysfunctional product. This includes placing appropriate warning labels on the packaging, and ensuring that products are thoroughly tested and properly designed.
If you or a loved one was hurt because of a dangerous or defective product in the Bay Area, call Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn to discuss your options with our San Francisco product liability attorneys.
We handle all types of defective product cases, including those involving:
- Household appliances
- Automobile parts
- Food and drink
- Children's toys and safety devices
- Power tools and equipment
- Manufacturing parts
- Farm machinery
Call us today at (415) 940-7176 or contact us online to get started on your case with a FREE consultation.
What Makes a Product Defective?
While product manufacturers provide a service to the public, they are privileged to be able to do so, and it is crucial that they do not subject the public to something that is inherently harmful or flawed.
The aspects of product liability can include defects in:
- Design: Does this product’s operation present serious, preventable harm to users? Could the product have been made safer for the public?
- Manufacturing: Did the assembly of this product leave room for otherwise preventable risks? Was the workmanship poor, resulting in dangerous conditions?
- Marketing: Was the product properly marketed for its intended purpose? Were proper warnings disclosed on the packaging with labels on the product itself?
By proving that the product was not properly delivered to the public, you can prove negligence on the part of the manufacturer or vendor. Our defective product lawyers can help you prove your side of the story.
Identifying Liable Parties in a Products Liability Case
Not only do manufacturers and sellers have the duty to provide reasonably safe products, assemblers and installers of equipment, too, can be liable for damages if a user is injured or property is damaged. Even rebuilders and repairers have been held accountable for damages resulting from dangerous products.
On the other hand, if a retailer that did not manufacture the equipment sells the products in the same condition in which they were received, has no reason to know of any defects, and has no information about damages arising from the use of the products, it probably will not be held liable for resulting damages.
Failure to Warn About Potential Dangers
Many plaintiffs in products liability cases allege that the defendants failed to warn them adequately about the dangers posed by its products. Manufacturers have a duty to warn consumers about the dangers of even abnormal use of their products if it is reasonable to assume that such abnormal use will occur.
Manufacturers must also provide warnings of any dangerous deficiencies in their products of which they become aware after the sale of the product. This continuing duty to warn arises if the manufacturer learns of a significant number of product failures, unanticipated dangerous uses, or a high accident rate.
If manufacturers do not know the whereabouts of all of the dangerous products that have been sold, they may have a duty to provide warnings in publications with a wide circulation that are likely to be read by users.
Manufacturers have no duty, however, to warn unanticipated users about the dangers of a product, such as when a tool manufactured for use by a skilled tradesperson is used by an inexperienced handyman. Nor is there a duty to warn about dangers that are easily appreciated and recognized by the consumer.
Common Defenses Used by Product Manufacturers
Defendants in these cases may argue that the plaintiff does not have a legitimate claim because he or she altered the product after it left the defendant’s hands. The mere fact that such alteration took place does not, however, free the defendant from liability; the real questions are whether the modification substantially altered the product and whether that modification was the predominant cause of the injury.
Another potential defense to a products liability claim is that the user of the product or equipment assumed the risk, such as by removing a safety device, or that the plaintiff may have been contributorily negligent, such as by using the product or equipment in a careless manner. The manufacturer may also argue that it complied with legal requirements and other applicable standards, and that it therefore was not negligent.
Establishing Fault in a Products Liability Case
A plaintiff attempting to establish fault in a products liability claim may rely on expert testimony on the product’s defectiveness, evidence that demonstrates the product’s dangerousness (such as a videotaped experiment involving the product), and evidence of other accidents involving the product.
The defendant, on the other hand, may seek to offer expert testimony on the safety of the product, evidence of compliance with government and industry standards, and evidence of custom in the industry.
If the plaintiff is successful, he or she will be able to recover damages to compensate for the injuries suffered, which may cover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In some cases, punitive damages are awarded, if the manufacturer’s conduct shows a complete indifference to the safety of product users.
If you think you may have a claim based on a defective product, it would be wise to promptly seek legal counsel. Statutes of limitations provide strict limits on the time period in which claims may be raised. Your attorney can advise you on whether you have a valid case and represent you throughout the entire legal process to ensure you achieve the best possible resolution.
How Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn Can Help
Our San Francisco product liability lawyers have a reputation for prestigious, knowledgeable, and committed representation marked by fierce advocacy, creativity, and formidable technical knowledge. For nearly 40 years, we have lent our skill and commitment to personal injury victims throughout the Bay Area.
Our extensive understanding of product liability laws and our experience in litigating challenging cases allows us to fight against even the largest manufacturing corporations and retail giants on behalf of our clients. At Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn, we are committed to pursuing justice for those we represent.
Call Now to Schedule Your Free Consultation
With more than $500 million recovered for our clients and a track record that includes consistent success both in and out of court, Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn is a team you can rely on, regardless of the complexity of your case. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning there is no fee unless you recover.
To speak with our defective product attorneys in San Francisco about your case, call (415) 940-7176.