When you buy or work with a product, you do not expect to be hurt. You probably assume that the manufacturer would only sell a product that was reasonably safe. Unfortunately, many manufacturers release products with only limited testing, and in some cases, products may cause catastrophic injuries or death. If you are injured or a loved one is killed by a defective product, you may bring a lawsuit with the assistance of a personal injury attorney. At Feldheim & Wilenkin, our Detroit product liability lawyers represent victims who have been injured by industrial, commercial, and consumer products. For example, our office previously secured a $1.4 million verdict against the manufacturer of a defective aluminum ladder.Bringing a Product Liability Claim After an Accident
If you bring a product liability lawsuit in Michigan, you probably will need to prove that the product was defective in terms of design, manufacturing, or marketing (warnings). You also may bring a claim based on misrepresentation or fraud. You will need to establish that the defect was the cause of your injuries.
Under section 2946, you will also need to prove that the item was unreasonably dangerous when it left the manufacturer's or seller's control, and at the time that it left the manufacturer's or seller's control, there was a technically feasible alternative production practice that would accomplish the same purpose and be desirable to users but still safer. The alternative will be considered feasible and practical only if the technical knowledge related to producing the product could have been used at the time that the specific unit left the manufacturer's control and was also economically feasible. In other words, the alternative must not be one that is overly expensive.
Design defects are flaws in the design of a product, and they exist in every item in a particular product line. For example, a crib might be dangerously defective in its design, resulting in a baby being suffocated. A plaintiff would need to retain an expert to show that the product could have been designed in a different way to avoid the injuries. Similarly, an industrial product might incorporate a toxic chemical and cause harm to a worker. A plaintiff would need to retain an expert to establish that the same product could have been made by using a different chemical that would have been safer while serving the same purpose for the product.
Manufacturing defects are usually one-offs, existing in one item or a small group of items in a particular line, rather than the whole line. They are unintentional errors in the manufacturing process. For example, if an automobile brake is overheated while being made in a factory and winds up misshapen, and then you get into an accident because the brakes fail to work, you may have a basis to sue for a manufacturing defect.
In Michigan, a defendant may defend itself by arguing that the design of a defective item was in compliance with generally recognized non-governmental standards at the time that it was sold to the initial user. There also is a rebuttable presumption that a manufacturer or seller should not be held responsible if the aspect of the product that caused the harm complied with standards put forward in state or federal laws. There is no defense to a product liability claim when it can be proven that there was an actual deviation in the manufacturing process from the intended manufacturing specification. This is true for all products, including pharmaceuticals.Discuss Your Case with a Product Liability Lawyer in Detroit
When you spend your hard-earned money on a consumer product or work with industrial or commercial equipment, you may not realize that you risk suffering a serious injury. Bringing a lawsuit is often the only recourse that an accident victim has after being hurt in these situations. The Detroit product liability attorneys at Feldheim & Wilenkin represent injured people across Southeast Michigan, including in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties. Call us at 248-737-0700 or contact us via our online form to set up a free appointment with a personal injury or wrongful death attorney.