Being a consumer demands trust. When we buy a car, cough medicine, a space heater, or a ladder, for example, we trust that the manufacturer has done everything possible to ensure the product won’t harm us. Most of us are unaware of this trust—it’s so implicit that we simply buy and use products without thinking about potential dangers.
But defective products that were poorly designed, manufactured, or labeled can cause serious injuries, illnesses, or even death. Every year, thousands of people are severely hurt or killed by corporate negligence.
Products come from across the country and around the world to consumers right here in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. When one of our own community members is injured by a dangerous product, we at Bianca | Matkins stand up to defend their rights. We use our experience as Louisiana personal injury lawyers to make sure bad-acting companies are held accountable for prioritizing profits over the safety of consumers.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury caused by a dangerous product, a Baton Rouge product liability lawyer can help you determine your legal options.
What Is a Product Liability Claim?
Product liability is an area of civil personal injury law that handles injuries caused by dangerous and defective products. Under Louisiana law, manufacturers and retailers of defective or unreasonably dangerous products can be held accountable for injury caused by the product.
Manufacturers have a legal duty to conduct testing and inspections to ensure safety and to warn consumers of any potential hazards associated with the use of their products. When this duty is not met, a manufacturing company may be held legally responsible through a products liability claim.
According to the Louisiana Products Liability Act (LPLA), a product that is considered unreasonably dangerous may be defective due to one of the following errors:
A product liability lawsuit handled under this legal theory claims that an error occurred during production. Although the design was safe, a mistake happened somewhere in the manufacturing process, affecting a single product, one batch, or multiple batches.
Examples might include:
- A child’s toy on which small parts were attached incorrectly and could come loose
- A home appliance made with faulty wiring that could cause a fire
- A batch of prescription drugs that were contaminated with the wrong chemicals
When a product is defectively designed, every item is faulty, even if manufactured correctly. When proving a case under this legal theory, it must be shown that a reasonable alternative design existed that could have prevented the injury.
A defective product made dangerous by a design error might be:
- An SUV with a design that makes it prone to rolling over and crushing occupants
- A medical device made of materials that could cause cancer to develop in the user
- A power tool with an ineffective safety guard
Warning defects can be further divided into two categories:
- Inadequate warning is when a product is claimed to be dangerous because the label did not provide proper instructions for use or warnings of potential risks or dangers were absent.
- Failure to conform to an express warranty means that there was a breach of the warranty on which customers relied when purchasing and using the product.
Types of Defective Product Cases We Handle
At Bianca | Matkins, our attorneys handle complex defective product claims involving items such as:
- Power tools, heavy machinery, and equipment
- Children’s toys
- Medical devices
- Prescription drugs
- Motor vehicles and auto parts
- Household appliances
- Building and construction materials that contain carcinogens like asbestos
- Other types of defective products
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) provides information about Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts, as does the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on their recalls website.
However, it is not necessary for a product recall to have been issued for you to pursue a Baton Rouge products liability claim with the help of an attorney.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Dangerous or Defective Product?
Under the Louisiana product liability act, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against a party involved in the production or sale of an unreasonably dangerous product.
While most product liability cases name the manufacturer as defendant, there may be other liable entities. Your products liability lawyer will advise you of the potential defendants in your case. These may include:
- Product manufacturers
- Suppliers of used goods
- Corporations that own other companies
There may be other parties along the chain of distribution that can be held liable for injuries caused by dangerous products. It’s easy to see how things can become very complicated in a product liability case, especially when large corporations or overseas manufacturers are involved.
These companies must carry insurance coverage so they can hold financial responsibility for the products they put on the market. By filing a claim with one or more of these parties’ insurance companies, you can recover compensation for the losses associated with your injuries or a loved one’s wrongful death.
What Compensation Is Available for Victims of Defective Product Injuries?
A product liability lawsuit is the means by which you can recover the losses of a dangerous product injury. Financial compensation can go toward damages like:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional anguish
Your Baton Rouge product liability lawyer from Bianca | Matkins will calculate the full amount of financial compensation you are owed. This number should represent the entirety of your current and future losses, both economic and non-economic. Once we have established the maximum value for your case, our attorneys will work resolutely to make sure you achieve a fair settlement award.
A Baton Rouge Product Liability Law Firm You Can Trust
You can trust that the attorneys from Bianca | Matkins have the skill to win your case. We are magna cum laude graduates from the Southern University Law Center and members of the Louisiana, New Orleans, and Baton Rouge Bar Associations. We are known in state and district courtrooms, and we possess an in-depth understanding of Louisiana law and federal manufacturing regulations.
But even more importantly, we are your neighbors, locally raised and proud of our working-class upbringing in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Injured victims are invited to contact our law firm for a free consultation. We’ll sit down with you and your family to discuss how we can move toward recovery together. We also offer fully accommodating legal services to Deaf clients filing a product liability claim in Louisiana.