You have been in the soda business for a decade now. You recently got a new design team and decided to shake things up. Your people had been secretly developing a new flavor, and it’s time to roll it out. After looking at the various designs presented at the meeting, you finally chose one that you feel is unlike anything your competitors offer. You have already got an advantage with the flavor. The bottle’s design is also eye-catching. You are sure that this product will be one of your best innovations to date.
Your marketing materials and social media posts get right to the nuts and bolts of promoting the product. Two of the elements highlighted in the copy of the adverts are the flavor and bottle design. After a few weeks of amazing success, a video surfaces on Twitter that shows a person holding your soda bottle and dancing. Suddenly, the bottle shatters, and the video closes on the person holding his bleeding hand.
Slowly, the video is shared on several social media platforms and more videos like this start to appear. You halt your distribution process and immediately recall all the crates that have been sent out so far. An apology is issued online, in which you mention that the company is looking into the matter. After a few weeks, you start getting calls from people who want to sue you for the damages caused by your soda bottle. Turns out, the bottle was made from weak glass, and by shaking it, the pressure of carbon dioxide coming from the fizzy drink caused it to shatter.
In Boca Raton, FL, defective products can affect you in two ways: you have faced injury or loss due to the defect in the product or are the one who manufactured it. Either way, you need to hire a lawyer to handle the case. Before we discuss how a product liability lawyer can help you with this, let’s understand the various legal issues that can arise from defective products:
Types of Defects
The theory of liability states that a plaintiff must provide proof that the product injured them. There are three types of product defects, which include:
- Marketing Defect: When a product does not live up to its advertisement. Some of the product factors that usually come under this are insufficient instructions, improper labeling, and inadequate safety warnings.
- Design Defects: When a product had flaws in the idea stage but was manufactured nevertheless and is now inherently unsafe.
- Manufacturing Defects: Flaws that are in the product’s assembly or manufacturing.
Now that you know how defective product liability works, let’s take a look at the defenses available to the seller and buyer:
Defenses for the Seller
In Boca Raton FL, defective products can get a seller charged with liability. In this scenario, they have two defenses: Assumption of the Risk and Substantial Change.
In the former, if you can prove that the consumer knew about the defect but still chose to use the product for entertainment purposes or to sue the company, the case would be thrown out.
As for the latter, you can argue that the injury caused to the consumer was because of their negligence, such as removing safeguards or changing the product in any way.
Defenses for the Buyer
A buyer has four primary solutions for recovery: tortious misrepresentation, negligence, liability in tort (civil wrongs), and breach of warranty. The most common claim made is based on negligence. If your case is based on it, here’s what you need to prove:
- The product’s manufacturer owed a duty
- The duty owed was breached by the manufacturer
- The injury was caused by a breach of duty
- You suffered physical and emotional damages due to the company’s negligence
You need to prove fault in any case so that it can be established that the company is responsible for the injury. The manufacturer or designer might be held liable if the company proves they had no idea their product had a flaw.
In conclusion, you need to hire a defective product attorney to get expert legal counsel and make an informed and educated decision. Depending on how the case is going, the lawyer might be able to get a satisfactory settlement that doesn’t require a trial. By settling things out of court, the victim can get compensated and the company can protect its reputation.
However, it should be made clear during the signing of the contract that defective products will be recalled by the company, so no more damage occurs.