Texas Product Liability Lawyer
Houston Product Liability Attorney
Thousands of new products are released into the free market every year. American companies and foreign companies worldwide are placing products into the stream of commerce with one goal in mind—making profits of the sale of their products. While there are Federal and State regulatory agencies that set rules and standards to make products safer for consumers, many products make it to the market with problems that can result in the consumer being injured. These are known as product defects. If you or someone you love has been injured by a defective product, call Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. for a free consultation with a product liability attorney at: 1-800-298-0111.
Types of Product Liability Claims
There are causes of action for three basic types of product defects: manufacturing defects, design defects, and marketing defects (a/k/a failure to warn). Each type of claim has unique aspects or “elements” which must be proven by the injured party in order to prevail on a product liability claim.
Product Defect: Manufacturing Defects
A manufacturing defect is an error in the way a product was made. It is, essentially, a mistake in the product construction process, not a flaw in the original design. A product that “fails to conform to specs” is a manufacturing defect. To prove a manufacturing defect case, the injured party must prove that there was a safe design, but that the product that was placed into the stream of commerce failed to conform to that design.
Some examples manufacturing defect claims are:
- EpiPens that fail to inject
- A tire whose tread does not seal properly
- Talcum powder linked to cancer
Product Defect: Design Defects
A design defect is an error or defect in the way the product is designed. The problem is inherent in the way the product was made rather than due to any accident or error in the process by which it was made. A design defect exists when there is an economically feasible alternative design that retains the utility and usability of the original design but is a safer design of the product.
Some examples of design defect claims are:
- Stryker Rejuvinate hip implants – a medical implant that can corrode and release metal shards into the body.
- Transvaginal mesh – A surgical mesh that erodes in your body over time.
- Bair Hugger warming blankets -A surgical blanket whose design is alleged to blow contaminated air on a patient.
Product Defect: Marketing Defects – Failure to Warn
A marketing defect occurs when there is a non-apparent danger inherent in a product no matter how precisely designed it is and the manufacturer fails to provide adequate warnings and/or instructions so that the risk of injury is reduced. The injury must occur while the product is being used for its intended purpose. Often medicines fall under this category because they contain a risk that is not adequately disclosed to the patient.
Some examples of a marketing defect are:
- Xarelto – A blood thinner that has no antidote to prevent bleeding out and allegedly failed to warn of same.
- Essure birth control implants. – A birth control device that allegedly failed to warn of organ perforation risks.
- Low T Therapy Patches. A Testosterone patch that failed to warn of increases the risk of blood clots and heart attacks.
- IVC Filters – A surgical device for preventing blood clots that fails to warm patients of a risk that it may move and pierce the duodenum.
- Roundup – A popular herbicide that contains the carcinogen, Glyphosate, which has been labeled as a probable human carcinogen by the EPA and WHO.
- Cardiac Heater/Cooler Devices that have a higher risk of infection than other similar devices.
Other Defective Products
In addition to the products specifically listed here, there can be many other types of defective products that can result in injury. When any object causes damage to its user those responsible for the injuring flaw can be engaged in a strict liability case. Any product liability lawsuit claim can become an involved and complex process, which is why it’s critical to have a Houston product liability lawyer ready to stand by your side.
If you suspect that your injury was the result of a defective product but you do not see it listed on our site, give us a call to find out if you have a case. Schedule a no-obligation consultation with a Houston product liability lawyer today!
Mass Torts and Defective Products
Mass torts are injuries that occur on a large scale to a large number of people. Often, product liability cases are also mass torts because they involve a product that was sold all over the country. When a product is the subject of a mass tort, many times the claims are consolidated together into a class action lawsuit. The product may or may not be the subject of a voluntary or forced recall depending upon a number of factors.
Steps to Take After a Defective Product Injury
First and foremost, seek appropriate medical care and get your injuries taken care of.
If you suspect you have been injured as a result of a defective product, what you should do next depends upon what type of product injured you and what type of injury you have suffered. Select the category on the list below that applies to you.
f you are injured due to a defective pharmaceutical or a medical device, you should do some research first off to see if there is already litigation pending for this particular product. Our defective pharmaceutical page is a good place to start for drugs. The products liability drop down menu lists several devices we can assist you with. If you do not see your drug, then it is not one we handle. You may wish to search other sites. If you do not see your medical device, then you should to call us to explore whether your situation is a new one. Also contact us if it is listed as a medical device we handle.
How to proceed will depend largely on the drug or device. However, some information that will be helpful includes:
- The name of the drug or device
- And product numbers you have
- Who prescribed and/or implanted it
- Any warnings or other papers you were given with it
- Dates you first received the drug or device
- If a drug, the period you were on it
- If a device, date and place of removal if any
While defective vehicles, consumer goods (nonfood) and tools are self-explanatory, the “gas-powered machines” refers to things like forklifts, aerial lifts or other equipment that is self-propelling. Anytime you are dealing with vehicle defects or drivable machine defects, there is a rule of thumb to keep in mind: It is really difficult to make a product liability case without a product. If it is your vehicle or machine, then do not allow it to be totaled and disposed of. Preserving the vehicle/machine is of absolute importance. Hire a lawyer and get a restraining order issued if someone else has it in their control.
Second, report the incident where appropriate. If the incident results in a car wreck, report the accident to the police. If it is an on the job injury, file a report of injury with worker’s compensation or any alternative accident or liability insurance your employer has. Please visit those sections for more information.
Third, take photographs of the vehicle/machine and the defective condition. Document the defect so that if the product disappears you have something.
Fourth, gather the things you need to identify and research the product defect. These may include:
- Serial numbers
- Make and model numbers
- Date of manufacture
- Date of purchase
- Any documentation hat came with it when you purchased it
- Vehicle VIN and license plate numbers
- Any receipts, bills of sale or other purchase documentation
- Place of purchase
You can check with the Consumer Product Safety Commission for recalls online if you want to do your homework, or call an attorney first and let them look into this for you. After you have gathered what you can, call a products liability attorney to discuss your case.
Lastly, report the product defect. The Consumer Product Safety Commission investigates and keeps records of complaints about products. If the product is defective, the more complaints they get, the faster they will investigate it and determine whether a product recall is necessary.
Everyone is familiar with food poisoning. But what does this mean? But did you know it is contagious? When contaminants get into food, either during the preparation process at a restaurant or during the packaging process for products packed and sold, this can cause a range of illnesses. One of the most common ways food gets contaminated is Salmonella. The Center for Disease Control estimates that Salmonella is the culprit behind 1.2 million illnesses a year in the United States, leading to 23,000 hosptializations and 450 deaths.
A person with Salmonella is contagious and can spread the disease. If you suspect you have suffered from salmonella poisoning, the first thing you should do (aside from getting appropriate medical care) is to report it to the Center for Disease Control so that a serious outbreak can be prevented if necessary. You have a legal obligation to report this.
Next, if you have the product or some of the product and can seal it in a sealable container, this is a good way to preserve it. Do not continue to consume it nor even handle it more than necessary. Let the CDC have it and conduct testing if they wish.
Lastly, call our product liability lawyers to discuss your options if you have suffered injury that required:
- A hospitalization
- Substantial medical care
- A long period of illness, or
Proving a Salmonella contamination case can be very difficult if you do not report it to the CDC or they chose not to investigate. Their investigations may prove your case for you.
If you have any receipts or documentation of where and when you purchased the product, you should save this evidence as well.
Call Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. Today
Products liability cases can be very complex. Therefore, it is crucial that you have a Houston products liability attorney on your side that has the experience and resources necessary to strongly advocate for you and to advance your very real interests. Towards this vital objective, the product liability attorneys at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. are your best ally in such circumstances. Call 1-800-298-0111 today.
The lawyers at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., approach every case they undertake with a keen sense of integrity that many times is lacking in the justice system today. Because mass torts and large scale products cases are complex and expensive to handling individually, some product liability cases are likely to be referred to another attorney for handling with the client’s permission in order to best serve the client. Let us serve you today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some common question about products liability claims include: