The term “products liability” covers a variety of situations. In some cases, people may be injured by defective products such as pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices. In other situations, the injury could come from a defective product sold through a chain of distributors for household use. For example, a defective boiler could blow up and injure residents of an apartment building, creating products liability for the manufacturer, distributor, and seller.
All of those individuals or companies in the chain of distribution can potentially have products liability toward a person who has been injured by a defective product. The list of potential defendants in a product liability lawsuit includes:
- The manufacturer of any component parts to the product
- The manufacturer who assembled the components parts into the defective product
- The first distributor or wholesaler of the product
- The next buyer and reseller of the product
- All subsequent sellers, including the retail store that ultimately sold the defective product to the consumer
These persons or companies may have product liability to the ultimate consumer of the product, whether that person purchased the product from them, or received the product as a sale, loan, or gift from another person. An experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer knows how to use product liability law to sue all the parties that may be legally responsible for the defective product.
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Products liability comes to play in mass torts because one product, such as a defective drug or medical device, may have injured thousands of consumers. There are many possible theories of liability. For example, mass tort and products liability attorneys sometimes refer to inadequate instructions or warnings as “marketing defects” leading to products liability. Marketing defects are basically flaws in the way a defective product is marketed. This can include:
- Improper labeling
- Insufficient instructions
- Inadequate safety warnings or failure to warn consumers at all about a product’s hidden dangers
- A negligent or even intentional misrepresentation regarding a product
In these cases, the product liability attorney will try to prove that the manufacturer knew or should have known that the product would likely injure the consumer, yet nonetheless failed to adequately warn the consumer about the problem.
Product liability cases involving defective or dangerous medical devices have included defective:
- Organ transplants
- Prosthetic devices
- Surgical implants
- Surgical equipment
- Hospital supplies
- Diagnostic equipment
- Hearing aids