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Product Liability in Louisiana
Manufacturers should be held accountable when their faulty products cause injuries or property damage. Product liability is the legal liability a manufacturer incurs when they produce or sell a defective product. Manufacturers have a duty to design, produce, and distribute safe products. When they fail to accomplish this, the consumers of their products could be injured. Under La. R.S. 9:2800.51 et seq., the manufacturer may be held liable for any injuries or losses that occur. These losses can include past and future medical treatment, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, loss of consortium, and property damage.
Manufacturers for purposes of the Louisiana Product Liability Act may include not only manufacturers, but also companies that put their name on a product label, a seller who controls a characteristic of the design or construction of a product, and “alter ego” companies who sell goods made by a manufacturer outside the U.S.
Standard of Care
The Louisiana Product Liability Act applies to situations when a consumer uses a product in a way which is reasonably expected and the product characteristics make it unreasonably dangerous when used in that manner. When this occurs, the manufacturer is held liable for the damages proximately caused by the defect. In Louisiana, you can hold a manufacturer liable for injuries which are caused by their product if one or more of the following criteria is met:
- If something goes wrong in the manufacturing process, either in construction or composition, an unreasonable danger may arise and the manufacturer may be liable for damages;
- If a product is poorly designed an unreasonable danger may be present, and the designer may be legally responsible for any injuries;
- If a manufacturer fails to provide adequate instructions or warning of the dangers posed by the product, a company may be held accountable for damages; or
- If a company does provide a warning, but the product does not conform with the express warning.
Common Defective Products
Defective tires or auto parts can cause car accidents. As a result, they are among the most dangerous types of defective products.
Toys can be dangerous to children if they are poorly designed or assembled. Children are also inclined to use toys in a way than is not inherently intended, but that the manufacturer should have reasonably foreseen. Baby products and toys are often harmful, especially if they have small parts or incomplete instructions.
Power tools and household items often have defective designs or are negligently manufactured. Defective electrical devices are especially susceptible to causing burns, electrocutions, and fires. Household chemicals such as glyphosate (commonly referred to as Round Up) have been shown to cause cancer.
Medications can sometimes cause unintended and unlisted side effects and complications, and the pharmaceutical companies should be held liable. There are many name-brand drugs that have been proven to have caused harm to thousands or millions of users. They include Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, and Lipitor, just to name a few. The Louisiana Product Liability Act does not cover vaccines though, which must be filed in a Federal program.
Medical devices can sometimes cause more harm than good. There are many examples of medical devices that have been the subject of class action lawsuits, including certain pacemakers, hernia meshes, artificial joints, birth control devices, stents, and breast implants, among many others.
The news is filled with recalled products. While a product recall is certainly not a prerequisite to a product liability claim, they are good indicators that a product that you use is defective. If you have been injured by a product that is under a recall, call us today.
The personal injury lawyers at Bowes, Petkovich & Palmer, LLC are experienced at representing clients injured by faulty products in the New Orleans area and across Louisiana. Call us today for a free consultation.
Other Types of Injury Cases We Handle:
Commercial Trucking Accidents
Slip and Fall
Wrongful Death & Survival
Bowes, Petkovich & Palmer, LLC
2550 Belle Chasse Highway
Gretna, LA 70053
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