Thursday, May 19, 2016

Who Is Responsible For Injuries From a Defective Product In Clearwater?

When an individual is injured by a defective product[1] and they wish to sue to recover for their injuries, one of the first things they need to do is to identify which people and companies might be liable for those injuries.  Unfortunately, identifying all of the parties that may be liable for their damages and injuries can be complicated.

Parties in the Chain of Distribution Resulting in Clearwater Injury

As a general principle, it is important to identify and include any and all parties involved in the path that the product took from manufacture to distribution to the customers of the injury-causing product known as the chain of distribution. At any stage in that process, there can be one or more parties responsible for the defective product.

Manufacturer of Clearwater Products

The manufacturer is at the beginning of the chain of distribution. The manufacturer may range in size from a multinational company to an individual working by themselves.  If the defective product is part of a larger product, it may be possible to include both the manufacturer of the defective part and the manufacturer of the whole product containing the defective part.   It may also be necessary to include any additional parties involved in the manufacture, design, or marketing of the product who might potentially be linked to the defect, especially if they are a separate entity from the manufacturer, such as an outside consultant or contractor.

Manufacturing defects are caused by an error in assembly that are not intended to be a part of the product.  A manufacturer is liable for any manufacturing defects that occur as a result of faulty construction, regardless of whether they took care during the manufacturing process.  A separate type of liability concerns a design defect including a flaw in the original blueprint of the product allowing the product to become unreasonably dangerous and creating a hazard for potential users. 

Retailers Linked to Clearwater Injuries

Even though the retail store where you bought the injury-causing product may not have manufactured the product, the retailer may still be liable for selling adefective product. When considering whether or not a retailer is liable for the damages or injuries it is important to review all aspects of the case including:

       Buyer:  It is not necessary to be the purchaser of a defective project to file a claim for damages and injuries.  Even if you were not the actual buyer of a defective product that caused your injury, you may still be able to recover. For example, if you were injured by some improperly manufactured product given to you by a family member, the fact that you did not purchase the product yourself would not prevent you from bringing a defective product claim or naming as a defendant the retail store where your family member purchased the product.

       User:  It is not necessary to be the individual who directly used the product in order to request compensation for damages and injury.  If you were injured by a defective product that someone else was using, you may still be able to bring a defective product claim.

       Wholesaler or Distributor:  In between the manufacturer and the retailer, there may be any number of wholesalers, suppliers, distributors, or others involved in the process.  Each are part of the chain of distribution of the defective product and are therefore potentially liable.

Clearwater Joint and Several Liability

One reason it is important to identify every possible defendant in a product liability case concerns the legal doctrine known as "joint and several" liability[2] which means that every defendant is liable both "jointly" (together) and "severally" (separately) for the entire award of damages. The defendants may end up fighting among themselves as to how to divide the damages awarded, but that is not the concern of the victim.

Call a Clearwater Product Liability Attorney

If you or someone you love has been injured or even killed as a result of a defective product, an experienced Clearwater product liability attorney can review your situation and determine which third parties may be responsible for your damages. At the Dolman Law Group, our skilled single vehicle accident attorneys investigate your case and protect your rights under Florida law to make sure you receive all of the compensation to which you are entitled.  Please call our office at 727-451-6900 today.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 3375
(727) 451-6900