Over 70 Years Of Combined Experience
At Easton & Easton, LLP, we have a combined 70 years of experience in representing injured people in product liability claims. In the mid 1970’s, Doug Easton argued Ault vs. International Harvish before the California Supreme Court, a seminal case establishing that evidence of a remedial change in a product can be used to help establish that the original product was defective.
We have successfully represented people in complex automobile design cases involving roof crush and resultant quadriplegic, and in roll-overs causing occupant ejection from the vehicle. We have successfully represented people in accidents involving exploding gas tanks and seat belts that failed to restrain the occupant. We have successfully represented people injured by air bags that deployed when they should not causing deafness and air bags that did not deploy when they should allowing more serious injuries to occur. We have successfully represented people in many other products liability cases involving defective medical devices, consumer products, drugs, and machines.
How Is a Product Defective?
Anyone considering pursuing a product liability claim must understand what this type of claim entails. The legal definition of a defective product is any product that fails to perform its intended use or presents an extraordinary risk of harm to the user with normal use. Defective product claims may also pertain to products that were improperly or inaccurately marketed, included incomplete or insufficient instructions and/or safety warnings.
Generally, there are three types of defects considered in product liability claims:
- A product is defective by design if there is a serious flaw in the original plans for the product. An infamous example of defective design is the Ford Pinto’s rear-placed gas tank that would explode in rear-end collisions. If a product liability claim involves a defective design, this usually indicates that all products made using the faulty design are potentially dangerous.
- Products can be defective by production if some error occurred with the materials or assembly of the product. For example, a company buys raw material for its product from Supplier A with no problems and then switches to Supplier B to save on production costs. The raw materials from Supplier B result in less sturdy products that break and harm customers. Production defects typically affect lots of units.
- Defective marketing could lead to a product liability claim if the manufacturer failed to provide clear safety warnings and instructions for use with the product. This can also apply in the event
If any of these defects result in harm to a consumer, that injured consumer has the right to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer or other entities in the supply chain of the product to recoup their damages.
Potential Damages in a Product Liability Claim
Product liability law falls under personal injury law, and companies that manufacture consumer products are just as able to absorb liability in a personal injury case as any individual. Damages available in a product liability claim align with the damages typically sought in most other personal injury claims:
- When a defective product causes physical injury or illness, the injured consumer has the right to claim compensation for any and all medical expenses incurred from the incident. This applies to both immediate medical expenses such as hospital bills and ambulance fees and future medical expenses the victim is likely to incur for necessary ongoing and/or long-term treatments.
- Defective product injuries may force victims to stay home from work while they recover. This means they cannot earn income and may even face lost earning potential in the future if they cannot fully recover from their injuries.
- A product liability claim that causes physical injuries and other losses will also likely enable the victim to claim compensation for pain and suffering. Noneconomic damages are difficult to calculate and are typically awarded in proportion to the plaintiff’s claimed economic damages to reflect the severity of their experience.
- It is also possible to secure compensation for property damage if a defective product damaged a consumer’s home, vehicle, or other personal property.
These damages could easily amount to a significant sum in a product liability claim. If you or a loved one experienced such losses due to a defective consumer product, call our firm. It is essential to contact an experienced Orange County product liability injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.
What to Expect From a Product Liability Lawsuit in CA
When a consumer sustains injuries from a defective product, it is very likely that other consumers who purchased the same product have sustained similar injuries or are at risk of such injuries. Product liability claims often transform into class-action lawsuits involving many plaintiffs with similar damages taking legal action against a single defendant.
In a class-action suit, legal proceedings can progress much more quickly than many individual lawsuits could. Plaintiffs who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to take legal action on their own could join these class actions if they meet the appropriate criteria. It’s important for anyone considering joining a class-action lawsuit to understand the tradeoff that comes with expediency and limited legal fees. You can reach a settlement sooner with a class-action lawsuit, you will not receive as much compensation as you could have if you pursued an individual case.
An Orange County product liability injury lawyer can help you determine whether you are better off joining a class-action lawsuit or if your case is strong enough to stand on its own as an individual civil action. Most civil claims are settled outside of court. If you are bringing a solid product liability claim against a well-known manufacturer, they will likely want to settle the claim as quickly and quietly as possible.
Many product liability claims compel manufacturers to address design flaws, production issues, and misleading marketing materials to develop more accurately represented, functional, and safe products. When a company learns that one of their products has harmed an end user, they have a legal duty to investigate the matter and take remedial action as quickly as possible. Your product liability claim could potentially spur measurable change and prevent others from sustaining the same damages in the future.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
You might think that hiring an Orange County product liability injury lawyer would amount to little more than money wasted on legal fees. However, it can actually cost you much more if you attempt to represent yourself in a product liability claim. If you attempt to settle without legal counsel, you will need to go up against the in-house legal team and/or outside counsel hired by the defendant, and this will likely not go well for you. It is best to consult with an experienced and reliable Orange County product liability injury lawyer as soon as possible rather than risk losing any chance of securing compensation for your damages.
If you are ready to explore your legal options after suffering damages from a defective consumer product, Easton & Easton can assist you. Our team has more than 70 years of combined experience handling all types of difficult civil claims, including product liability lawsuits. Our experience allow us to seamlessly assess and coordinate medical care to make certain the full extent of our clients’ injuries are identified, treated, and provable.
We understand the tricks, stratagems, and defenses the insurance companies and their attorneys use to defeat or minimize a claim, and at Easton & Easton, LLP, we utilize our experience, skill, and dedication to make certain our clients do not fall victim to the insurance companies’ tricks and stratagems.
Please call our lawyers at 800-461-8259 for a free initial consultation. If we do not take your case, there is no charge.