Texas Product Liability Lawyer
Houston Product Liability Attorney
New products are placed into the stream of commerce almost daily by both American companies and companies abroad. They all have the one objective in common–to get you profits from sales. While there are Federal and State regulatory agencies that set the minimum standards to make certain products such as food, and medical devices safer for consumers, still there are many products sold today that are unsafe for their intended use. These are known as defective products.
What Types of Product Defects are There?
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.
What is a Manufacturing Defect?
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 of manufacturing defect claims are:
- EpiPens that fail to inject
- A tire whose tread does not seal properly
- Talcum powder linked to cancer
What is a Design Defect?
A design defect is a defect in the way the product is designed. The defect is not a glitch or one time error, it is an inherent danger in the way the product was designed. A design defect exists when there is an economically feasible safer alternative design that could have been used but was not.
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.
- 3M dual-ended earplugs – military earplugs that were been too short to provide the needed level of noise protection.
What is a Marketing Defect?
A marketing defect is when a product has a danger that is not readily apparent to the user and the manufacturer fails to provide adequate warnings or instructions to reduce the risk inherently involved in using the product. The injury must occur while the product is being used for its intended purpose or, at least for a purpose of which the manufacturer is aware it is likely to be used. Often medicines fall under this category because they contain risks that are not adequately disclosed to the patient.
Some examples of a marketing defect are:
- Juul Vapes – An e-cigarette that once had no warning that the product contained nicotine.
- 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 failed to warn 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.
Defective Drug and Medical Devices
If you are injured due to a defective drug 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 product liability drop-down menu lists several devices we can assist you with. If you do not see your medical device, then you should 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, the date and place of removal if any
Defective Vehicles, Machines, Consumer Goods (Non-food) and Tools
While defective vehicles, consumer goods (nonfood), and tools are self-explanatory, the words “gas-powered machines” refer 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 that 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 product 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.
Defective Foods and Consumables
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 hospitalizations 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 products and you 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 an 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
Product 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 (713) 932-0777 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 product liability 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.
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Review: 5/5 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ” I guess we are all a bit hesitant to have to hire a lawyer, at least I know I was, but Simmons and Fletcher PC was highly recommended by a trusted friend so I decided to contact them for help with the automobile accident in which I was injured. They went far beyond my expectations making sure that I was comfortable with their help. The information I received was on a regular basis, and any questions or comments I had were quickly handled. Ms. Stephanie Quinn, my lawyer’s paralegal, was in contact with me on a regular basis, I couldn’t have asked for a more professional and kind individual to assist me. My lawyer, Chris Fletcher, was very thorough and answered all my questions quickly. The work he performed on my behalf is greatly appreciated. If I should ever need legal assistance in the future, I definitely will contact Simmons and Fletcher, and I would highly recommend you contact them as well, should you need an attorney to represent you.”-Sue M., actual client.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some common question about products liability claims include: