Chicago Product Liability Attorney
If you have been seriously injured from a defective product, you need a trial lawyer who can thoroughly investigate whether you have a meritorious case.
There are, speaking in very general terms, two types of legal theories that apply to product liability cases in Chicago. The product liability case can proceed on a strict liability theory or negligence. There is a law in Illinois that provides for a period of “repose” for strict product liability actions of 12 years from date of first sale of the product to anyone or ten years from date of first sale of the product to the initial user of the product, whichever expires earlier. So, in general, if your product liability case is outside of those time periods you will not be able to bring a strict product liability case but you may very well have a product liability case based upon negligence.
Another law in Illinois that applies to product liability cases is the so-called distributor statute. In the case of a non-manufacturing defendant, the court shall order the dismissal of a strict liability in tort claim after the non-manufacturing defendant certifies the correct identity of the manufacturer of the product allegedly causing injury or death. So ordinarily the distributor will be dismissed from the case but there are important exceptions to this in that the distributor may not be allowed out of the case if they:
Had actual knowledge of the defect in the product which caused the injury or death;
Exercised some significant control over the design or manufacture of the product, or provided instructions or warnings to the manufacturer about what was wrong with the product that caused injury or death;
Are in a distributive chain in which the manufacturer is unlikely to pay any judgment or would be unlikely to have the resources to pay a reasonable settlement; and
Are in a distributive chain in which the plaintiff cannot bring a case against the manufacturer either because of a lack of jurisdiction over that manufacturer or the statute of limitations or repose bars the product liability case.
For a product liability case involving a “Made in China” product, the difficulty in obtaining jurisdiction over the company in China places a heightened degree of significance on identifying the importer of the “Made in China” product.
Product liability cases are one of the more complex cases handled by personal injury attorneys. I have experience in many different types of Chicago product liability cases. If you have been seriously injured from a product defective in design or manufacture and need an attorney for a case in the Chicago area, please call me now at (205) 907-8570 or contact me now.
Defective products made in China and imported into this country can pose a risk of serious injury. As a six year old boy rode his brand new made in China ATV, it sped up on its own and the 110cc engine caught on fire. Look at his now burnt made in China toy.
This boy was in the burn unit at Shriners Hospital for Children – Cincinnati, for over a month receiving skin grafts and will need many more surgeries in the future.
Made In China: Trouble in Toyland
The United States Senate in 2007, held hearings on ATV safety legislation. A representative of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission testified there that although major ATV companies comply with industry safety standards, a significant number of new entrants, many from China, sell ATVs that fail these standards. The Senate heard from a representative of Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA, that many ATVs made in China are poorly manufactured.
The Senate heard that substandard ATVs made in China pose unnecessary risks to U.S. consumers. In the case of our six year old client, the owners manual given to his grandfather said it was designed for six to twelve year old kids. This toy, made in China, seriously injured this boy.
In just a casual reading of comments to the ATV Connection forum http://forums.atvconnection.com, one sees the frustration with made in China ATV’s with persons stating buyers will “live to regret it,” as they are “garbage” and they have their place in “landfills” and, finally, the comment “Have you not heard about all the unsafe products they [China] are sending in the US with no regard. Lead paint baby toys, poison pet food, poison toothpaste, many atv’s are not capable of starting out of the crate.”
In an article “Trouble in Toyland: New Challenges for Mattel – “Made in China” published in the Knowledge@Wharton Newsletter, Marshall Meyer, Wharton management professor and China expert, says with regards to defective and unsafe made in China products ranging from tires to medications “will most likely be suspect for a while, or regarded with a great deal of caution.” Wharton’s business ethics professor, Thomas Donaldson, says it’s “not possible to always guarantee the safety of toys or any other products. With regard to China, we are sourcing from a place that is many decades away from the kinds of expertise . . . we take for granted in the U.S.”
Made In China Product Liability: Defective Tires
Most recently, another defective made in China product made the news. A June 12, 2008, news article in Reuters noted that safety advocates urge motorists to inspect their tire valve stems for cracks and to check their tire pressure in the wake of one distributor’s recall of defective tire valve stems made in China by Shanghai Baolong Industries Co. for Dill Air Control Products of Oxford, N.C. and a federal probe into premature cracking prompted by a fatal rollover crash. As many as 30 million replacement rubber valves stems, imported to the U.S.from China beginning in August 2006, can crack prematurely, causing tires to lose air. Air loss at highway speeds may result in a tire failure and loss-of-control crash. (The valve stem is a rubber tube with a metal valve used to inflate the tire with air.) Dill has told NHTSA that as many as 30 million of the made in China suspected valve stems have been distributed in the North American market. The suspect made in China valve stems identified by Dill include its TR-413, TR-413 chrome, TR-414 and TR-418 models, which were manufactured between August 2006 and November 2006.
Made in China Lawsuit: Defective ATV
In the case of a defective ATV imported into this country, there was a $3 million verdict in a wrongful death case returned by a jury in Philadelphia, PA, in 2005, against Dinli Metal Industrial Company, Ltd for a defectively made ATV: the rider lost control of the ATV when the handle grip slipped off of the ATV.
Made in China ATVs by SunL are so bad that for a long time there was a web site, www.sunlsucks.com., about it that for now has been taken down. A challenge will be to obtain jurisdiction over this China company for a defective ATV. We will fight to obtain jurisdiction over this China company, as we have against other foreigners, based upon the contacts it had in the U.S. We will fight to win some measure of justice for this boy whose life has been changed forever.
Product liability suits arise from a producer or seller’s responsibility to pay customers for injuries, which were due to defective products sold. Those who’ve been harmed by an unsafe product often have a reason for action against the individual or company who designed, produced, sold, or distributed the merchandise. In the US, several customers have hailed the substantial rise in the quantity of product liability litigation as an efficient instrument for consumer supporter. The law has shifted from caveat emptor to strict responsibility for any manufacturing flaws that make an item unreasonably dangerous.
While consumer advocates believe that product liability suits are excellent for protecting consumers, producers and others who distribute and sell merchandises are of the opinion that product responsibility suits have added to the cost of goods sold. Companies have already sought tort reform from state legislators and Congress within an attempt to reduce the injury awards. Usually, the main cause of action an actor can use can be in one of four distinct theories: neglect, breach of guarantee, misrepresentation, and strict tort liability. Neglect is failing to exercise appropriate or regular care as a reasonable person would.
Manufacturers can take place liable for neglect if the plaintiff can demonstrate a lack of reasonable care in the production, design, or construction of the harmful item. A manufacturing company may be found to be irresponsible if the workers didn’t do their jobs properly or if administration accepted incorrect procedures. These are especially hazardous actions when they result in a unsafe product. Breach of guarantee is when a seller does not respect a promise, claim, or representation made regarding the quality or kind of product used.
Misrepresentation relates more to the marketing and sales promotion of the product. It pertains to the procedure for giving customers false protection about the safety of the certain product. This is usually done by drawing attention away from the dangers of its use.
Products liability is a personal injury law that centers on hazardous or defective products used by the public. Our law firm has dedicated itself to assisting and representing the Chicago area against large manufacturers and/or corporations that have produced dangerous items that the public has used. Remember that “products” refer to a large range of items that qualify. These include but are not limited to:
- -Medical products (hip implants)
- -Tools and Machines
- -Pharmaceuticals (prescription and non-prescription drugs)
- -Pesticides, Asbestos, and Mold
- -All Motor Vehicles
- -Household Appliances
- -Recreational Products (toys, playgrounds, etc)
- -Clothing and Accessories
We have attorneys that specialize just in this field and have ample experience in the courtroom handling product liability cases. Many of our clients seek us out as victims of issues with medical products, like hip implants, with pharmaceutical issues with adverse reactions to drugs they have taken. We also represent a large amount of people that have been the victim of faulty machinery, tools, and motor vehicle issues. At first mention, the effects that can result from products may seem inconsequential. But in actuality, they are life altering and debilitating circumstances that impact people to the extreme. If you believe you have suffered from a product defect, then you owe it to yourself to call us so we can help you solve your case.
At Plouff Law, we have handled many lawsuits predicated on product liability, qualifying us as a leading law firm in personal injury law. Our primary goal when representing plaintiffs in their product liability case is to get them the verdicts and settlements they deserve for the suffering they have endured. Companies will do whatever it takes to get out of settling their negligence, but we have the experience needed to get you the results you need to live your normal life. When we have represented these cases in the past, we have also made it a goal to bring attention to the larger issues. Not only are we interested in getting our clients what they deserve, but we are also committed to raising awareness about faulty products and changing society for the better by getting them off the market.
If you have experienced a negative impact because of a dangerous product, or are a survivor of someone that has passed away because of a particular occurrence with a defective product, then you should understand your rights. Too often, people believe that they have no personal injury case, but most are surprised to discover they have had their rights violated and are due a settlement by the responsible party. Don’t fall victim to negligence because you are apprehensive about your claim. We are always here to answer all of your questions, so please call Plouff Law solve all your legal matters.
One typical necessity in most Chicago merchandise liability claims is a finding of the defect in an item. Negligent design of the merchandise, Negligent production of the merchandise, Negligent failure to warn about some facet of the merchandise, Breach of an express or implied guarantee, Misrepresentation or fraud about the merchandise. Probably the most typical defective product claims requires responsible design. These cases concern the design decisions made by the producer throughout developing the merchandise. The focus of this claim is just that, even when the merchandise was in its expected condition, there was something wrong with the merchandise that caused the damage.
To show that the producer failed to exercise reasonable care, the wounded person should show that the merchandise created an excessive danger or expected harm. The magnitude of the possible hazard of harm presented by the defect in the merchandise and the reasonableness of the proposed alternate designs, or Other proof concerning the Unreasonableness of the hazards in the design. Applying this strategy to each instance is critically significant. In contrast to negligent design cases, a responsible production case focuses on the real merchandise. The key question is if the product that caused harm was distinct from the planned condition.
Although the focus is on the merchandise, the injured individual should still show that the producer failed to manufacture its product to eliminate any excessive risk of foreseeable harm. Chicago item liability law recognizes that some products are hazardous. These dangers can’t be eliminated throughout the design process. In these cases, a manufacturer can must warn the user of those hazards. Illinois courts have ruled that producers possess a duty to warn customers or users of hazards connected with the planned use or reasonably expected misuse of their products, but the range of the responsibility isn’t unlimited. Whether there is a responsibility to warn is just a question of law for the judge to choose duty to warn arises when the producer knows or should know of the potential risk of injury standard of care requires the efficient communication of sufficient, accurate info duty to warn and instruct extends to next improper use of a product There’s no responsibility to warn regarding unforeseeable misuses.
A product is defective when it includes any part or feature that makes it unsafe for the intended use or hoped-for abuse, or when lacking any feature needed to make it safe.
Products are defective due to a Production flaw or Malfunction when there is a defect in the production or construction of the particular merchandise involved with the accident. A hypothetical case is a light-weight aluminium product like a bicycle handlebar. Some of these products were created to be as light as possible. These usually are safe if the production process is perfect. Whilst the design is perhaps sound, the existence of the flaw in the creation procedure for the specific item makes that merchandise defective. Another manner wherein a product can be worse is failing to warn of possible dangers in using an item or failing to provide the directions on the product’s safe use.
If you have suffered an injury from a product that was made in China, contact my office today.