Every year, unsafe or defective products injure thousands of people. Most are unaware that they may be entitled to some sort of compensation for their injuries. Companies sometimes rush their products to market before proper research and testing, which exposes the general public to unnecessary risks and dangers.
Consumers should not have to worry about purchasing defective products. When a product is defective, consumers can file a product liability claim against the seller or manufacturer. Product liability refers to a product maker or manufacturer being held legally responsible for placing a defective product in the hands of consumers. All sellers of a defective product that cause injuries to the public can be held liable for those injuries.
While products are generally thought of as tangible personal property, products liability has stretched that definition to include intangibles (gas), naturals (pets), real estate (house), and writings (navigational charts).
Illinois product liability lawyer Christopher Dixon has represented individuals and families who have suffered as a result of a defectively designed or made product. If you have been hurt or someone you love has been injured or died as a result of a defective product, call attorney Chris Dixon 312-600-8054.
Types of Product Liability Claims In Illinois
Types of product defects include design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects. When a product is defective from the very beginning, there is usually a problem with the design. An example of a design defect is a particular model of car that has a tendency to flip over while turning a corner.
Defects that occur during assembly are considered manufacturing defects. An example of a manufacturing defect is a swing set with a cracked chain.
Things like improper labeling, insufficient instructions, and inadequate safety warning are considered marketing defects. An example of a marketing defect is cough syrup that does not include on its label a warning that it may cause dangerous side effects if taken in combination with another commonly taken drug such as aspirin.
Some of the most common items involved in product liability cases include:
- Car tires
- Car brakes
- Kitchen appliances such as coffee makers, toasters, ovens and cooktops
- Sump pumps
- Air conditioners
- Airplanes and airplane parts
- Medical devices, including valves, implants and prostheses
- Prescription drugs
- Food Poisoning
- Cell phones and their batteries
- Laptops and their batteries
Defective products are released into the market so often that the U.S. federal government has a webpage strictly dedicated to food and product recalls. However, many times product recalls come too late for those who have already been injured.
Illinois Product Liability Law
Generally, the law requires that products sold to consumers meet the ordinary expectations of the consumers. When a product has a defect or danger, the product does not meet these ordinary expectations. Because there are no federal product liability laws, these claims are based on state laws, and plaintiffs can cite negligence or strict liability when a product is defective.
To prove negligence in Illinois, the plaintiff must show:
- The manufacturer or seller owed a duty of care to the consumer,
- The defendant breached that duty,
- The defendant’s breach caused the plaintiff’s injuries and the injuries were foreseeable, and
- The plaintiff suffered a compensable injury.
To prove strict liability in Illinois, the plaintiff must show:
- The injury to the consumer resulted from a condition or defect of the product manufactured or sold by the defendant,
- The condition or defect was unreasonably dangerous, and
- The condition or defect existed at the time the product left the manufacturer’s control.
Liability for a product defect could be placed on any party in the chain of the product’s distribution, such as:
- The product manufacturer;
- The manufacturer of component parts;
- The party that assembles or installs the product;
- The wholesaler; and/or
- The retail store that sold the product to the consumer
Product liability lawsuits can be quite complex. There are many parties that could be at fault. There are also several theories under which a plaintiff can bring a claim. Further, there are several defenses an at-fault party could use to try to defeat a plaintiff’s claim. It’s important to consult an experienced Illinois product liability attorney who can thoroughly evaluate your case, as the plaintiff bears the burden of proof in these types of cases.
Contact an Illinois Product Liability Attorney
The economic costs of injuries or fatalities associated with defective products are the responsibility of the company that made or distributed the item, not an innocent person who purchased or used the product. Don’t wait to consult an attorney about a products liability case. The statute of limitations for filing a products liability claim in Illinois is two years from the date of the initial injury. Once the statute of limitations has expired, you may be forever barred from collecting damages.
Our products liability lawyers offer FREE consultations to all injury victims. If we are able to help you, we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we are only paid if we successfully handle your product liability claim.
If you have been hurt or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of an improperly made or defectively designed product, contact Illinois product liability lawyer Chris Dixon for a FREE consultation. Our lawyers have been recognized as Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association and are Life-Time Members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. We are here to help. Contact us today at 312-600-8054.