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Products Liability

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Products Liability, Defective Products & Defective Design Claims in Massachusetts

Woman in wheelchair You'd think that the products you buy in Massachusetts are safe to use for you and your family. This isn't always the case, though. Defective products harm or kill people daily. To save money, some businesses take shortcuts. Some rush them to market without thoroughly evaluating them. Some even sell items that they know involve hazards but don't tell customers about them. All of these actions have the potential to harm customers like you.

Companies and manufacturers can be held liable in Massachusetts for their defective products and the damage they cause. Here's what you need to know about different sorts of product liability claims and how our Massachusetts product liability attorneys at The Law Office of Matthew M. Foti in Boston can help.

In Massachusetts, Who Is Responsible for Personal Injuries Caused by Defective Products?

Under Massachusetts product liability law, product makers, distributors, designers, and any other parties in the "supply chain" have a duty to produce and sell safe products. Before any product can be distributed, it must be tested to guarantee its safety. The maker has a responsibility to design against defective products and to remove risks from goods as much as feasible. Some goods are still dangerous, and this must be indicated explicitly in the form of a warning label. The manufacturer will be responsible for any injuries you have sustained if the product is faulty or if the manufacturer fails to provide adequate warnings of the product's hazards.

A plaintiff may sue the manufacturer or seller responsible for a violation of warranty. There is an implied warranty in Massachusetts that products are fit for their intended purpose and usage. If a product is unfit for its intended use, it is called faulty and unreasonably hazardous. There are three types of defects that might render a product excessively hazardous:

  • Design defect - the product was made and sold appropriately, yet it has a defect in its design.
  • Manufacturing defect - the product was well-designed and advertised, but there was a defect in the production process.
  • Warning defect - A warning defect occurs when a product is correctly designed and built, but the maker or seller fails to offer appropriate warnings about the product's potential for damage.

The plaintiff must prove that the product was defective, that the flaw was present when it was sold to the plaintiff, and that the defect caused the plaintiff's injuries to win his or her case.

A plaintiff's claim may also be based on a basis of negligence. Unlike a breach of a warranty claim, which focuses on the goods, a negligence claim focuses on the behavior of the maker or seller. The plaintiff must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, that the defendant broke that duty, and that the breach caused the plaintiff's injuries and losses. The plaintiff must establish a link between the product fault and his or her injuries, as well as that the product was defective at the time of sale.

Expert testimony is typically required in product liability trials, especially when the flaw is in the design. The plaintiff must show that there existed a reasonable, safer alternative design that might have minimized the product's known risks of injury at a cost to the reasonable defendant.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Agriculture, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration all oversee consumer items. The Food and Drug Administration has control over medical devices. Defective items may be recalled by these government agencies on occasion. To avoid harm or death from faulty products or tainted food, you should be aware of product recalls.

What to Do If You Have a Product Liability Accident

Product Liability If you are in an accident as a result of a defective product that you own or control, you must preserve evidence by keeping the defective product and not modifying or disassembling it. It should be kept in a safe place. If the product is owned or managed by someone else, legal assistance may be necessary right once to ensure that the evidence is maintained. It may also be important to conduct a quick examination of the accident scene, especially if the injury was caused by a vehicle such as a car, truck, motorbike, or boat. All proof will be thoroughly reviewed and all witnesses will be questioned as soon as possible.

You can feel confident that your case will be thoroughly examined on your behalf, and that the appropriate specialists will be brought in to analyze the defective goods if you hire an experienced product liability lawyer right once. From the beginning, your case will be ready for trial. Of course, if you are harmed as a consequence of a faulty product, you should seek medical help right once. Always keep in mind the advice of your medical specialists.

Who Can Be Compensated for Their Losses?

Product liability claims aren't restricted to the product's original purchaser. All reasonably foreseeable users, including secondary purchasers and buyers' employees, are subject to liability. For instance, despite not having bought the proper equipment, an employee injured by defective machinery in manufacturing might file a responsibility claim. The machine manufacturer should anticipate that its product will be used by manufacturing personnel.

Calculation of Damages

Damages for pain and suffering, as well as special damages, can be awarded in a personal injury case in Massachusetts. "Special damages" is a legal phrase for monetary losses that may be quantified. Special damages include medical expenditures, lost wages, lost potential income, and any other expenses incurred.

A separate "loss of consortium" claim may be filed in Massachusetts where an accident results in the loss of a connection between the injured individual and their relatives. Whenever anyone experiences severe or life-altering injuries, and their relationship is materially changed, spouses and minor children may file this sort of claim. A claim for loss of consortium is distinct from other claims.

Contact Our Massachusetts Product Liability Attorney

It's impossible to put a price on a gone or injured parent or spouse, or a strained relationship, and no amount of dollars can ever substitute them. A skilled personal injury lawyer at The Law Office of Matthew M. Foti in Boston, MA, can assist you in navigating these waters.

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