Most of us purchase products nearly every single day, trusting that these products are safe for their intended purposes. However, when those products prove to be dangerous and defective, Brockton residents can be seriously injured.
Under Massachusetts law, persons injured by these unsafe products can recover compensation from the manufacturers and retailers that put these products on the market and into the hands of consumers.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan have dedicated themselves to the cases of injured victims. Our product defect lawyers work hard to secure the maximum financial reward those victims deserve. Our successful case results speak to the knowledge and skills we bring to every case. We work tirelessly for our clients whether they were injured by defective gym equipment or a defective tire, for example.
For more than 30 years, our family-run firm has worked consistently to protect the rights of victims hurt by dangerous products. We can put our skills to work for you. If you have been injured by a dangerous product, contact The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan. We will schedule a free case review with a Brockton product defect lawyer.
What Is Product Liability?
Product liability refers to the type of legal cases involving bodily injury and property damage caused by dangerous or defective products.
In a product liability case, a manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer can be held responsible for selling a dangerous or defective product that causes a user’s personal injury or property damage. Liability for damages caused by dangerous and defective products could be imposed on any party in the product’s distribution chain.
What Do You Have to Prove in a Product Liability Case in Brockton?
In Brockton and throughout Massachusetts, an injured consumer can successfully prove a product liability case under one of three legal theories:
- Strict liability – Massachusetts law imposes strict liability on the parties in the chain of distribution of a dangerous or defective product. An injured consumer need only show that the product suffered from a defect or posed an unreasonable danger for its intended uses. The consumer does need not prove a manufacturer or seller was negligent or committed an intentional or reckless act.
- Negligence – Injured consumers bringing a product liability case can allege a manufacturer or seller committed an act of negligence (or recklessness) that led to a product having a defect of some sort; or the manufacturer or seller committed negligence in putting an unreasonably dangerous product onto the market.
- Breach of warranty – Injured consumers can also recover compensation by proving that their injuries were caused by a product that breached express or implied warranties offered by a manufacturer or seller.
A product may be considered defective if it suffers from one or more of three different types of product defects:
- Design defect – A design defect means that a product has an inherent flaw or error in its specifications that renders it unreasonably safe. A design defect will affect all examples of a product that shares the design and incorporates the defect.
- Manufacturing defect – A manufacturing defect arises from an error during the making or assembly of the product. The product would not have a defect if it conformed to the intended design or specifications. A manufacturing defect may affect only one example of a product, or it can affect an entire production run of a product.
- Failure-to-warn/failure-to-instruct (also called a “marketing defect”) – A failure-to-warn/instruct defect occurs when a manufacturer or retailer fails to provide a consumer with adequate instructions for the safe use of a product or fails to warn the consumer about foreseeable risks of injury or damage due to the product’s use.
Manufacturers and sellers in a product liability case may avoid liability for injuries and damages by proving one of the following defenses. If a manufacturer or seller in your product liability case raises one of these defenses, it may serve as a partial or complete defense to liability.
- Sealed container – A seller received a product in a sealed container and had no reason to know or suspect the product was defective.
- Altered product – A third-party (not the manufacturer or seller) altered the product in such a way as to render it defective or dangerous.
- Consumer’s negligence – The injured consumer used the product contrary to its instructions or with knowledge of the product’s defective or dangerous nature.
- Lack of safer alternative – If an injured consumer alleges a design defect, a manufacturer may assert that no other safer, practical alternative designs existed.
- Open and obvious risk – A product had an open and obvious risk of danger, but the injured consumer failed to exercise reasonable care in using the product.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Defective Product in Brockton?
Any person or company in the chain of commerce or chain of distribution for a defective or dangerous product can be held liable for injuries and damages caused by that product. These parties may include:
However, a party who resells a product and who is not normally engaged in the sale of goods (for example, someone who sells their used lawnmower) may not be considered in the chain of commerce or distribution. That party usually cannot be held liable by a subsequent purchaser or consumer/user of the product.
Common Types of Product Liability Claims We Handle
At The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan, we handle these types of product liability claims:
- Airbags that fail to deploy in a front-end crash or deploy unnecessarily
- Seatbelt failure
- Unintended acceleration
- Vehicle gas tank explosion and defective fuel system
- Seat backs that fail, causing loss of vehicle control and injury
- Defective tires and tire blowouts
- Roof pillar defects and roof crush
- Defective brakes
- Space heaters
- Heating pads
- Electric blankets
- Toasters and toaster ovens
- Slow cookers, rice cookers, and pressure cookers
- Coffee makers
- Table saws
- Nail guns/power nailers
- Punch press
- Riding lawnmowers
- Circular saws
- Power drills
- Power sanders
- Air compressors
- Defective child car seats
- Dangerous and defective cribs
- Sleep positioners
- Crib bumpers
- Baby walkers and strollers
- Window shade cord strangulation/choking accident
- Swing sets
- Inflatable bounce houses, slides, castles, obstacle courses, and moon bounces
- Defective bedding
- Bath seats
- Flammable clothing pajamas and Halloween costumes
- Television tip-over accident
- Furniture tip-over accident
- Stove tip-over accident
- Tricycles, non-motorized scooters, and toy wagons
- Antidepressants (Zoloft, Prozac, Lexapro)
- Antipsychotic medication (Risperdal)
- Birth control pills (Yaz, Yasmin, Ocella)
- Acne medication (Accutane)
- Blood thinners (Pradaxa), heart disease medications (Crestor), and cholesterol medication (Zocor)
- Osteoporosis medication (Fosamax)
- Antibiotics (Zithromax/Z-Pak)
Defective Medical Devices
- Artificial knees and hips
- Transvaginal and pelvic meshes
- Breast implants
Compensation for Injuries Caused by a Defective Product
A person who is injured by a defective product may be entitled to pursue financial compensation for the damages they incur because of their injuries. Compensation available in product liability cases can include:
- Medical expenses, such as emergency room or hospital bills, doctor’s appointments, surgeries and other medical procedures, physical or occupational therapy, pain medications or other prescriptions, or mobility or medical equipment
- Long-term care costs necessitated by injuries that disable you from being capable of caring for yourself
- Lost wages or income from missed work
- Lost earning capacity or potential
- Pain, suffering and emotional distress
- Lost quality of life due to disabilities or physical disfigurement
You may also be entitled to compensation for property damage caused by the defective or dangerous product. For example, you may be entitled to recover for the damage a defective product caused when it caught fire and burned a portion of our home.
Statute of Limitations on Product Liability Cases
Under Massachusetts’ statute of limitations, you typically have three years from the date you are injured by a dangerous or defective product to file a product liability lawsuit. Under certain circumstances, this three-year statute of limitations might not begin to run if on the actual injury date you do not realize you had been harmed, or if you are suffering from a progressive injury caused by a product such as defective prescription medication.
If you do not file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations that applies to your case, the court will almost certainly dismiss your case. That means you will lose your right to seek financial compensation in court.
What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt by a Dangerous Product in Brockton
If you are injured by a dangerous or defective product, take these steps to protect your legal rights and interests. These steps can help ensure that you keep open the option of a lawsuit at a later date against the manufacturers and retailers of the product.
- Keep the defective or dangerous product, if safe to do so. Having the actual product that injured you can greatly strengthen your product liability case. Experts can examine the product and identify the product’s defect or how the product creates an unreasonable risk of injury in normal use.
- Photograph the accident scene. It can also help to take photographs or video of the accident scene (and of the product itself if you cannot keep it around). Accident scene photos and video might help explain how your accident occurred and how your product was defective. Photos may also help you argue against claims that you were somehow negligent or careless in your use of the product. Also take photographs of any visible injuries you may have suffered.
- Get examined by a doctor. Your case may be strengthened if you are examined by a physician as soon as possible after your accident. Even if you do not feel as though you were seriously hurt, a doctor might be able to identify injuries of which you are unaware. Promptly diagnosing injuries not only improves your treatment prognosis but also allows you to argue against a defense that your injuries were not caused by your defective or dangerous product.
- Talk to a Brockton product liability attorney from The Law Offices of Gerald. J. Noonan. Our firm can quickly begin an investigation into your case. We can advise you as to your legal rights and options for pursuing a product liability claim.
- Follow your treatment recommendations. Do not shrug off the recommendations from your doctor about the treatment of your injuries. Doing so can allow your injuries or physical condition to worsen. Your conduct will also allow the defendant manufacturer or retailer to argue that you weren’t as seriously injured as you claim.
- Decline to give a statement to an insurance adjuster or defense lawyer. Once a manufacturer or retailer learns that you may have been injured by one of their products, you might be contacted by an insurance adjuster, defense lawyer or another representative from the manufacturer or retailer. They may ask you to give a statement or provide other information. Unfortunately, they may be looking for you to say or do something that they can use to argue against your product liability case. Refer any communications you receive to our Brockton product liability attorney. Let us deal on your behalf with the insurance companies and defense lawyers.
How a Brockton Product Liability Attorney Can Help You
When you’ve been injured by a dangerous or defective product, you may be entitled to seek compensation in a product liability claim. Successfully pursuing a product liability claim is an incredibly complex task. Turn to a Brockton product liability attorney from The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan.
An attorney can help you and your family seek the financial compensation you deserve by:
- Investigating the accident and injuries and collecting critical evidence we can use for your case
- Working with engineering experts to show your product was defective or dangerous
- Filing a claim on your behalf with liable parties and their insurers, and aggressively negotiating with those parties for the compensation you deserve
- Preparing your case to go to court if the responsible parties refuse to offer you a fair settlement
- Vigorously advocating on your behalf before a judge and jury
We can also help you pursue insurance coverage and medical treatment to help you heal from the injuries caused by a dangerous or defective product.
Schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation with a Brockton product liability attorney at The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan. You will learn how our firm can help you seek financial recovery for your injuries and damages.