South Carolina Product Liability Attorney
Without even thinking about it, we trust that the products we use every day are safe from defects and will not cause us harm. We think they are safe. We assume that they have been tested by the authorities. However, products like child car seats, home appliances, home heating systems, prescription drugs, cars and tires do have risks that we may not realize. Manufacturers have a responsibility to manufacture safe products as well as warn users of any known risks, but this does not always happen. Sometimes, product manufacturers will rush to get a product on the market without properly testing. Sometimes, a company knows its product is dangerous but making changes to the product will eat into their profits. Worse, sometimes companies know their product is dangerous but would rather fight and possibly pay the injury claims instead of issuing a recall. When profits are placed above safety, consumers may suffer serious injuries or death, and the victims have the right to a product liability lawsuit.
Attorney Mark Bringardner is an experienced South Carolina product liability lawyer, representing people who suffered serious injuries by dangerous or defective products. Having handled many defective products claims, he has seen firsthand how these cases are heavily defended by well-funded corporations and conglomerates. He prepares every case for trial to take on the big companies, working closely with industry experts and top investigators.
Elements of a Product Liability Claim
Generally, a defective products lawsuit will have four elements, which you must prove, in order to recover compensation:
- You were injured, or a loved one died
- The product being used had a defect
- The defect caused your injury or loved one’s death.
- You were using the product as it was generally intended.
Product liability cases are complex, requiring intense investigation and attention to detail. Victims of defective products must retain an attorney with knowledge, experience, and resources to hold responsible parties accountable for medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering.
Who Can You Sue For Your Injuries?
Product liability claims are not limited to manufacturers. A claim could be brought against a component, part or raw material supplier, or a product distributor. It has been established in prior cases that everyone in the chain of distribution could be sued, a rule that allows the injured party to bring their lawsuit against the person or company that sold them the product. Parent companies or subsidiaries that sell or manufacturers typically cannot be sued, unless it is established that they played a role in the design, manufacture or marketing.
Automotive Product Liability Claims
A car accident that would have been minor may result in serious injuries or fatality due to a defective product. If a car part designer makes a product inherently dangerous, you may have a claim for resulting injuries. A well-known example is the 1973-1987 GM full-size truck that included a side saddle tank design, including two five-foot long 20 gallon tanks that were outside the frame of the vehicle. Engineers warned that the installation would increase risk of fuel leakage in an accident, but GM released the vehicles only, and they caused several thousand deaths. GM paid out more than $500 million in settlements for these accidents.
Another automotive design defect example are the issues with Takata Airbags, which first became known in 2004 but are still causing deaths. Sixty-five million airbags and roughly 37 million vehicles have been recalled. The airbag recall was the auto industry’s biggest ever product recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTS) has confirmed that 16 people in the United States have been killed by defective Takata airbag inflators. Additionally, at least 250 people in the United States have been injured. Automakers have paid out hundreds of millions in airbag settlements, and Takata filed for bankruptcy in 2017.
It is possible you may have a product liability case for a product you do not even know the name of. For example, women who received a Dow Corning silicone breast implant experienced autoimmune diseases or contracted a rare form of cancer called anaplastic large-cell lymphoma. Many of these women were not familiar with the type of implant that was used, or that there were any risks associated with it. If you are wondering if you may have a case, it’s best to speak with an attorney right away, as soon as possible.
Liability in Defective Product Cases
Multiple parties may be responsible for a defective product injury, including designers, manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers. A defective product case could involve a dangerous drug, car part, industrial equipment, medical device, or everyday household product. Product liability cases generally fall under three categories:
The design of the product is unsafe. Even if manufactured exactly according to design specifications, the product can cause injury. Weak roofs in early model SUVs causing roof crush fatalities are an example of a design defect.
The product is designed well, but was not manufactured to standards as intended in the design This could be using the wrong screws or bolts in a child’s toy that makes it likely to break.
The product is designed and manufactured properly, but does not include warnings or instructions on how to safely operate. For example, an office chair manufacturer could be liable for failing to warn that the chair could collapse if the person sitting in it weighed more than 200 lbs.
Defendants are required to warn consumers about newly discovered risks. For example, a salad manufacturer discovers their spinach is possibly contaminated with salmonella, they must recall it and tell consumers to discard it.
Why Choose Mark Bringardner?
Attorney Mark Bringardner has a track record of success in South Carolina cases involving catastrophic injuries or wrongful death. He works with the best investigators and experts to put together a strong case. Many lawyers refer cases to him that they do not want to take on themselves, establishing him as a true “lawyer’s lawyer.” To learn more about your legal rights, contact us today. We will not charge any fees unless we recover money for you.