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Product Liability Attorney

Product Liability Attorney

Representing Consumers Injured by Defective Products Since 1982

In this article, we will discuss:

Product manufacturers, distributors, and retailers share a responsibility to make sure the consumer product you buy is safe and free of defects. Consumer product recalls are consistently making headlines in addition to lawsuits stemming from the injuries they cause. If you suffer injuries from a consumer product in your home there are laws that allow you to seek financial compensation.

As a long-time Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney, Alan sets himself apart from other product liability attorneys by his expert trial skills, his command of civil trial procedure and the rules of evidence, his knowledge of the type of experts to hire, and his analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of his case.

What is Product Liability Law?

Product liability law refers to the seller’s liability for any product that causes an injury to the buyer, user, or innocent bystander because of a defect. The liable party can be the seller, manufacturer, distributor, or retailer. Depending on your case, all of the parties that had a hand in the product can be liable for your injuries and financial compensation.

The makers and sellers of consumer products have a duty to make sure their products are safe for use and consumption and they have a duty to warn if the product is inherently dangerous or has the propensity to be dangerous. However, they do not have a duty to warn users of their products of open and obvious dangers.

Quick Law Tip: Product Liability Lawsuits Are Based on One or All of The Following:

  • a manufacturing defect;
  • a design defect; or
  • the failure to warn (which includes labeling, warnings, and instructions).

Determining a product defect can involve various factors such as the product’s composition, content, construction, finish, or packaging of the product. Additionally, warnings and/or instructions that accompany the product can also contribute to a defect. It is also important to consider the conditions under which the defect manifests to determine whether it creates a substantial risk of injury.

Florida Law

Just like in any negligence case, manufacturers, designers, and sometimes retailers owe a duty of care to their customers. When evaluating a case, we examine whether or not that duty has been breached and determine if that breach caused our client’s injury. In some instances, a product liability case can involve a strict liability claim. Meaning, the injured person does not always have to prove negligence as in other personal injury cases. The injured party in that instance has to show that:

  • the product was not safe;
  • the plaintiff suffered an injury; and
  • the product caused the injury,

And, in order to establish strict liability in a product liability case, an injured party must allege and prove during a trial:

  • the manufacturer’s relationship to the product in question;
  • the defect;
  • the unreasonably dangerous condition of the product, and
  • the existence of a proximate causal connection between the condition and the user’s injuries or damage.

For strict liability, the test is whether or not the product was reasonably safe for its intended use as manufactured when it left the manufacturer. West v. Caterpillar Tractor Co., Inc., 336 So.2d 80 (Fla.1976) (quoting the Restatement (Second) of Torts s 402A (1965)).

These standards do not mean that product liability cases are any easier than other personal injury cases. They often involve complex research into the various corporations that are potentially liable. They can also require experts and engineers to pinpoint the defect that caused the injury. Based on the product or prescription drug, defects that caused your injury could have occurred in the manufacturing, design or marketing process.

Quick Law Tip: The time limit (Statute of Limitation) in Florida to file a product liability lawsuit based upon negligence or strict liability is 4 years. One question here is, when does that 4 year period begin to run?

Types of Product Liability Cases

Alan Sackrin represents clients injured by any of the following consumer products:

  • Defective automobiles and components
  • Sports equipment, including defective sneakers
  • Food Packaging
  • Child safety seats
  • Burns and other injuries from wearables
  • Walk-In Tubs Due to Burn Hazard
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Power tools
  • Children’s toys
  • Bicycles
  • Crib Mattresses Due to Risk of Entrapment
  • Electric Bicycle Batteries Due to Fire Hazard
  • Children’s Pajama Sets Due to Violation of Federal Flammability Standard
  • Disc Brakes
  • Wheels and Tires
  • Hair Dryers Due to Electrocution Hazard
  • Notebook Computers Due to Fire Hazard
  • Blinds And Shades Due to Strangulation Hazard
  • Foldable Wood Patio Chairs Due to Fall Hazard
  • Hand Trucks And Carts
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Bottles and Containers

See a complete list of our product liability articles here.

Product Liability Damages

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a defective product in Florida, one of the main goals of your product liability attorney will be to recover your damages to a level that makes you whole again, including financial compensation for such things as:

  • Reimbursement for medical costs and expenses (home care, therapy, equipment);
  • Future medical costs and expenses
  • Your lost wages from your job;
  • Money for your pain and suffering;
  • Money for your mental anguish;
  • Financial coverage for any physical impairment;
  • Financial coverage for any permanent disfigurement; and
  • As well as other economic and non-economic damages (loss of spousal and parental consortium, loss of the enjoyment of life, etc.).

Holding Manufacturers Accountable for Defective Products

When a product fails and causes harm, it’s natural to want to hold the manufacturer accountable. Responsibility for a product defect that causes injury lies with all sellers of the product who are in the distribution chain, which can include the manufacturer, a manufacturer of component parts, a wholesaler, and the retail store owner. In general, a product must meet the ordinary expectations of the consumer. A product that has an unexpected defect or danger does not meet consumers’ ordinary expectations.

As noted above, there are three types of defects that might cause injury and give rise to manufacturer or supplier liability: design defects, manufacturing defects, and failure to warn:

  • Design defects may stem from composition, content, construction, or finish of the product. These defect exist before the product is manufactured.
  • Manufacturing defects occur during the construction or production of the item.
  • Failure to warn defective claims relate to instructions or labels that fail to warn consumers of latent dangers in the product or fail to provide adequate instructions for the safe use of the product.

Preventive Measures

While manufacturers are responsible for ensuring the safety of their products, consumers can also take steps to protect themselves from defective products. Here are a few preventive measures:

1. Research Before You Purchase: Before purchasing a product, especially those that are meant to ensure safety like car seats, helmets, etc., do some research. Look for product reviews and check for any recalls or common defects associated with the product.

2. Follow Instructions: Always use the product as instructed and as intended. Misuse of the product can not only lead to accidents but might also make it harder to hold the manufacturer accountable in case of a defect.

3. Regular Maintenance and Inspection: For products that are used over a period of time, regular maintenance and inspection can help spot any potential defects or wear and tear that could lead to accidents.

4. Keep a Record of Purchase: Always keep the receipt and details of where and when you purchased the product. This can be crucial information if you need to file a product liability claim.

5. Report Defects: If you find a defect in a product, report it to the manufacturer and the retailer. Most manufacturers have programs for handling consumer complaints. You can also report it to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which can help prevent other consumers from being injured by the same product.

You can report an unsafe consumer product with the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Safer Products website or call CPSC’s toll-free Hotline at (800) 638-2772, or (301) 595-7054 for the hearing and speech impaired.

Read: When Does A Manufacturer Have A Duty To Warn About Defects?

Case Studies: Alan Sackrin’s Experience as a Product Liability Lawyer

Alan Sackrin is a product liability lawyer with extensive experience in handling complex cases involving defective products. He has successfully represented clients in numerous product liability cases and has helped them obtain the compensation they deserve.

One of the cases that Alan Sackrin handled involved Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. In this case, a woman was severely injured when her tire blew out while driving on the highway. The plaintiff claimed that the tire was defective and that Goodyear was responsible for her injuries. Alan Sackrin fought tirelessly to prove the tire’s defectiveness and ultimately secured a substantial settlement for his client.

Another case that Alan Sackrin handled involved a missing safety feature in a crane cab. In this case, an employee was seriously injured when he fell from the crane cab due to the absence of a safety railing. The plaintiff claimed that the manufacturer of the crane was responsible for his injuries because they failed to include this essential safety feature. Alan Sackrin again fought vigorously on behalf of his client and secured a favorable outcome.

Currently, Alan Sackrin is handling a product liability case involving a vase that broke in our client’s hand while she picked it up to look at it in-store. The vase caused severe and permanent injury to our client’s hand, resulting in significant medical expenses and lost wages. Alan Sackrin is determined to hold those responsible accountable for their negligence and secure justice for his client.

Additionally, Alan has settled Or won at trial product liability cases involving :

  • Forklift;
  • Bicycle;
  • Defective Tire;
  • Defective Chair; and
  • Defective Food Packaging (current case)

Appellate Decision of Importance

  • Rivera v. Baby Trend, Inc., 914 So.2d 1102 (Fla. 4th DCA 2005) – Alan brought a strict products liability action against a retailer, and against the distributor of a defective baby stroller. Facts: In a published opinion, Alan successfully argued to the appellate court that a California distributor of a product manufactured in China was strictly liable for defects in the baby stroller even though the product was never in the possession of the distributor, but was shipped directly to the retailer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Product liability is an area of law that deals with holding manufacturers, distributors, and sellers responsible for defective products that cause harm to consumers. It can be a complex and confusing topic for many people, which is why we’ve put together answers to a few frequently asked questions about product liability.

What is a consumer product?

A consumer product is any tangible personal property that is distributed in commerce for personal, family, or household use. This includes everything from toys and electronics to food and drugs.

What are the product liability safety standards?

Product liability safety standards are regulations that set minimum safety requirements for products sold in the United States. These standards are established by organizations such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and must be met by manufacturers and other interested parties.

What is the risk-utility test under Florida law?

The risk-utility test is used to determine whether a product was defective because its risks outweighed its benefits at the time it was designed or manufactured.

To see more frequently asked questions about product liability, see our related FAQ page.

Contact Us For A Free Case Evaluation – Call (954) 458-8655

If you have been injured in Miami-Dade, Broward or Palm Beach County, or any county in Florida, as a result of a defective product, contact Alan, by calling or emailing him, and ask for a free consultation. He’s happy to discuss your claim with you, review what happened, determine your legal options, and help you understand your rights and options to recover the compensation you deserve. 

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We are Florida lawyers serving those living throughout the State of Florida including those living in the Miami-Dade and the communities of Broward County, Florida including:

Sunrise | Wilton Manors | Pompano Beach | Tamarac | Coconut Creek | Cooper City | Plantation | Coral Springs | Dania Beach | Davie | Deerfield Beach | Fort Lauderdale | Hillsboro Beach | Lauderdale-by-the-Sea | Lauderdale Lakes | Lauderhill | Lazy Lake | Lighthouse Point | Margate | North Lauderdale | Oakland Park | Parkland | Sea Ranch Lakes | Southwest Ranches | West Park | Weston

DISCLAIMER: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. This article does not create an attorney-client relationship. Florida law, and any applicable Federal laws or regulations, are always changing. Therefore, we strongly recommend talking with an experienced Florida product liability lawyer to learn your rights.