Daytona Beach Attorneys – Product Liability
Product liability law pertains to claims against manufacturers, distributors and sellers of dangerous and defective products. In ancient times, the Latin phrase, "Caveat Emptor" (let the buyer beware) was the law of the land. Our laws changed as society recognized the manufacturers, distributors and sellers of dangerous or defective products have a responsibility to the public. Often, the manufacturer and seller are in a better position to protect society from injuries caused by those products than the user. Today, our laws regarding product liability hold manufacturers and distributors responsible for the costs of injuries caused by their products. If you feel that negligence is involved, our Daytona Beach attorneys will fight for your damages.
Product liability law is based on both contract and negligence law. As a result, several different types of claims may arise from a product liability situation. These theories of liability include strict liability, breach of warranty, and negligence.
Under the doctrine of strict liability, a manufacturer or seller of a product is strictly liable where (1) the manufacturer or seller places a product on the market with knowledge that it will be used without inspection for defects; (2) the product is defective or unreasonably dangerous; and, (3) the defect causes injury.
A breach of warranty claim can encompass several different kinds of warranties. First, the product may be covered by an express or written warranty where the manufacturer and/or seller provides an express guarantee concerning that product. In addition, the product may also carry an implied warranty. Under Florida law, manufacturers and sellers provide an implied warranty that a product is fit for the ordinary purposes for which it is used. A manufacturer or seller may breach this implied warranty when they market and sell a product which is unreasonably dangerous or defective.
Manufacturers or sellers may also be subject to a general claim of negligence, where they place a dangerous or defective product on the market. A manufacturer has a duty to use reasonable care in the design and manufacture of a product. A breach of that duty, which causes injury to a person, may expose the manufacturer to a negligence claim. Similarly, a seller has a duty to use reasonable care in the selection or sale of merchandise. When the seller breaches that duty, by selling dangerous and defective products, it can become liable for the injuries caused by the product.
There are exceptions to the general rules set forth above, which is something Daytona Beach attorneys know well. For instance, there may be no cause of action or claim where someone has materially changed or altered the product they purchased, before it caused an injury. For instance, removing the safety device from a product for convenience, can potentially absolve the seller and manufacturer from liability. Additionally, misuse of the product may negate the claim. Another potential defense is known as the "Economic Loss Doctrine.” Under Florida law, when a product damages itself, causing economic loss, but does not cause personal injury or damage to any property other than itself, than a recovery beyond the value of the product itself may be prohibited.
Many different types of "products" give rise to claims based different theories of liability. Some of the better publicized products that have generated claims include silicone breast implants, injuries caused by the diet drug referred to as Phen-Fen and Firestone Tire separation cases. They may also include products that have not received much publicity such as chairs, watchbands, etc.
If you have been injured from the use of a product and believe the product was unreasonably dangerous, unfit for the particular purpose for which it was purchased, or believe that the manufacturer or seller was negligent in manufacturing, marketing or sale of the product, please feel free to contact our Daytona Beach attorneys.
Daytona Beach attorneys Seitz and Tresher, have earned an “AV” rating, the highest rating available based on legal ability and ethical standards, from Martindale-Hubbell, the nation’s leading legal directory. We would be honored to help you. Please call us at (386) 253-9790.