People are injured or killed by defective products every day in the United States. When a consumer purchases an item, the expectation is that the product will be safe and fit for its intended use and safe for individuals and their families. This is not always true. When manufacturers and product designers attempt to cut costs and increase profits, mistakes are prone to happen. Unfortunately, these mistakes can lead to catastrophic injury or even death.
CONNECTICUT PRODUCT LIABILITY LAW
A consumer may bring a claim for personal injury, death, or property damage caused by a defective product’s design, manufacture, construction, formula, preparation, assembly, installation, testing, instructions, warnings, packaging, or labeling. These claims can be brought based on various theories of liability against a number of defendants that may have been involved in the “chain of commerce.”
The businesses that manufacture, design, and sell defective products in Connecticut or to Connecticut residents may be held liable for the injuries caused by their products under Connecticut law. In Connecticut, actions for defective products are governed by the Connecticut Product Liability Act. Connecticut’s Product Liability Act allows for claims based on negligence, strict liability, and breach of warranty. A claim may also include allegations of a design defect, a manufacturing defect, and/or a failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions.
Given the number of entities that a product likely passes through before getting to the consumer, it can sometimes be difficult to determine who the potential defendants are in the chain of commerce.
This determination and analysis require the involvement of a skilled advocate and litigator on your behalf as soon as possible. In addition, it may become extremely important to involve some form of professional or expert to analyze or examine a potentially defective product. These details are best handled as soon as possible after the potential defect is discovered.
PRODUCT DEFECT CLASSIFICATIONS
There are many types of defects a product may have. A manufacturing defect is an error that occurs during the production of the product. These defects occur regardless of how safe a design may be. In contrast, design defect claims, allege that the manufacturer’s design of the product contains some inherent flaw. In cases involving design defect claims, Connecticut courts will decide a case by considering several factors which includes consumer expectations. In addition, a court will evaluate the balance between the design’s benefits and risks. Failure to warn cases typically allege that the manufacturer had a duty to warn product users of any unreasonably dangerous features of its product.
The Connecticut Product Liability Act imposes what is essentially strict liability upon product sellers in situations where a product is defective, the defect was the proximate cause of the injury, the defect existed when the product left the seller, the seller did not expect the product to be substantially altered after leaving the seller, and the product was not altered. In these instances, a claim can be brought against a seller pursuant to the Connecticut Product Liability Act even if the injured person did not buy the product directly from the seller. This standard permits a claim against a seller without the victim having to show that the seller was negligent in some way. Rather a victim must show only that the product was defective and that the defect caused the injuries.
For example, a resident of Middletown, Connecticut may buy an e-cigarette battery or device from a retail store in New Haven, Connecticut. If the battery or device is defective, and cause burns or other injuries to the buyer, then that person can file a claim against the retail store even if it didn’t manufacture or distribute the product. The Connecticut resident can also file a suit against the distributer, wholesaler and/or manufacturer of that product as well, even if they are located out of state.
TYPES OF DEFECTIVE PRODUCTS
There is a wide array of products available to consumers. Even those that appear safe can present numerous dangers if they contain design defects, are made from improper materials, contain improper ingredients, or defective workmanship. A defective product sold to Connecticut residents can be a toy that harms a child, a food item that contains contaminants that lead to illness, machine parts that lead to injury, or automobile parts that cause a car accident or fail to keep you safe during one. Given the various potentially harmful products in commerce, and the myriad of potential injuries that these products could cause, it is important to consult with an experienced product liability attorney for an evaluation of potential claims you may have.
CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED PRODUCTS LIABILITY ATTORNEY
The product defect attorneys at Aeton Law have significant experience litigating product defect cases. We have worked with some of the top experts in product defect litigation, including for defects in automobile parts, commercial food service products, and others. If you have been injured by a product call one of our attorneys to set up a consultation at 860.724.2160.