When a product injures a consumer, the manufacturers of the product can possibly be held responsible under a theory called products liability. Because government regulations may not provide consumers with relief, a product liability lawsuit is often the best way for a consumer to hold a manufacturer responsible for placing a dangerous product on the market. At Bachus & Schanker, a Louisiana defective product attorney can work to help you receive the compensation you deserve after you or a loved one has been injured.
Louisiana Product Liability Law
The Louisiana Products Liability Act is the statute under which a consumer can recover. Before you bring a lawsuit against a product manufacturer, it is important to know exactly who can be held responsible and how you can recover damages from them for an injury. Only products that are found to be "unreasonably dangerous" can be the basis for a lawsuit. Based in New Orleans, defective product attorneys at Bachus & Schanker will be able to determine whether you may be eligible to receive compensation.
What makes a product unreasonably dangerous?
In Louisiana, product recalls may be necessary for four reasons:
If the construction or composition of the product deviated in a material way from the manufacturer's specifications or performance standards when it left the manufacturer's control
If there was an alternative design for the product that was capable of preventing the injury which was not overly burdensome on the manufacturer
If inadequate warning was provided on the product about the dangerous characteristic
If the product does not conform to an express warranty made by the manufacturer
Additionally, for a product to be deemed unreasonably dangerous, the consumer must have been injured while using the product in a way that was reasonably anticipated. This means the consumer cannot have used the product for some purpose for which it was not intended.
Because of the number of ways a product can be deemed unreasonably dangerous, any number of products can end up being the reason for a product liability lawsuit. Unfortunately, while some statutes under this act are helpful for consumers, others are helpful for manufacturers. A Louisiana defective product attorney at Bachus & Schanker who is familiar with these laws can help you build the strongest case possible against the manufacturer of the product that injured you.
Who qualifies as a manufacturer?
Under Louisiana law, only a manufacturer can be held responsible in a products liability case. Fortunately, the term "manufacturer" is used very broadly. Revised Statute 9:2800.53 says that anyone who produces, makes, fabricates, constructs, designs, remanufactures, reconditions, or refurbishes a product is considered a manufacturer.
In addition, anyone who labels a product as his own or holds himself out to be the manufacturer can also be held responsible, as well as a seller of a product who exercises control over or influences a characteristic of the design, construction, or quality of the product that causes damage.
Lastly, anyone who incorporates a part or component manufactured by someone else into the product and a seller of a product of a manufacturer outside of the U.S. can also be held responsible. Serving all the surrounding areas of New Orleans, defective product attorneys have access to all statutes regarding Louisiana product recalls, and will be able to determine whether you have a case.
Unreasonably Dangerous or Defective Products
While any number of products can end up being defective or dangerous, there are some products on the market that we continue to hear about time and time again. Products used by children, motor vehicles, as well as medical devices and drugs all are subjects of multiple product recalls and lawsuits because they cause injury to their users. If you've been injured by any item included in a Louisiana product recall, the team at Bachus & Schanker knows exactly how to proceed against the manufacturers responsible.
In 2008, 19 children, aged 15 and under, were killed in toy-related deaths. In addition, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported that 235,300 toy-related injuries were treated in emergency rooms that same year. Seventy-three percent of these injuries were to children 15 years old or younger. Toys such as tricycles, balls, balloons, and scooters were responsible for many of these injuries and fatalities.
Many of these toys may have been subjects of recalls after the manufacturers discovered they were unreasonably dangerous for children. However, many toys may not be the subject of a recall, so parents may not find out until too late that the toy puts their child at risk. At Bachus & Schanker, we know that whether or not a toy has been recalled is not a determining factor in whether it was unreasonably dangerous. A Louisiana defective product attorney from our firm can help you build your case against the toy manufacturer that put your child at risk for being injured or killed..
Child Safety Products
The CPSC reported that there were over 77,000 emergency room-treated injuries to children under five in 2009. Seventy-three percent of those injuries were associated with infant carriers and car seats, cribs, and high chairs. In addition, from 2005 to 2007, an average of 88 children under five years of age were killed every year because of defective nursery products. Products such as cribs and mattresses, bassinets, cradles, baby baths, playpens, and infant carriers were associated with 90% of the reported fatalities.
While these products are supposed to keep children safe, unfortunately, many times the products are unreasonably dangerous due to poor design or incorrect construction. It is important for parents to stay informed of any recalls associated with defective baby products and safety warnings that should be followed. Information about the safety of these products and current recalls can be found on the CPSC website. If you find a product in your home is listed there as being part of a defective product recall, and you live in or near New Orleans, defective product attorneys at Bachus & Schanker are available to help you begin the process of filing a products liability lawsuit.
Every year thousands of injuries are caused by defects in motor vehicles. Many major defects in vehicles make news headlines because of the high numbers of injuries and deaths. Some recent examples include:
SUVs and large passenger vans that have a tendency to roll over
Tires that have a tendency to blowout
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident you suspect was caused by a defect in your vehicle, whether it was part of a Louisiana product recall or not, we can help. At Bachus & Schanker, we can evaluate your case and make sure the manufacturer of the vehicle is held responsible for placing an unsafe vehicle on the market.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that more than 10,000 people are killed in rollover crashes every year. Rollover crashes account for 33 percent of all passenger vehicle fatalities. Statistics show that taller, narrower vehicles like SUVs are more prone to rollovers than other vehicle types. Because of this tendency, manufacturers are supposed to follow certain safety guidelines to make sure passengers are protected in the event of a rollover. Examples of these guidelines include:
Installing a working seat belt that will not fail in the event of a rollover
Ensuring the roof is strong enough to withstand the rollover without completely collapsing
Installing latches that effectively hold doors closed in the event of a rollover
While motor defects are a major cause of injuries in rollover accidents, the NHTSA recommends the following to best protect you in the event of a rollover:
Follow the speed limit.
Do not drink and drive.
Wear your seat belt.
Avoid panic-like steering and over-correcting.
If your vehicle leaves the roadway, gradually reduce speed until you have regained control.
Make sure your tires are properly inflated.
Do not exceed the maximum load limit for your vehicle.
Use caution on rural roads.
Faulty tires are also a common cause of accidents. While sometimes the cause of tire failure is improper maintenance, other times tires are defective when installed on the vehicle. An example is poor tread design and placement, which can cause the tire to fail gradually, or can cause a deadly blowout. When a tire blows out, it is very difficult for a driver to maintain control over the vehicle.
If you believe your tires are defective, there are several steps you should take. First, file a complaint. Then, do research to determine whether other consumers are reporting the same complaint, and whether a safety investigation has been conducted. Also, find out whether your particular tire has been the subject of a Louisiana product recall.
The NHTSA recommends that each vehicle owner properly maintain the tires by doing the following:
Observe tire pressure and vehicle load limits.
Purchase an accurate tire gauge, and regularly check tire pressure to ensure tires are always properly inflated. The correct pressure for your tires is listed on your vehicle's tire information label, or in the owner's manual.
Inspect tires monthly for overall condition and even wear. Uneven wear could mean that you need a tire rotation, or that your wheels need to be aligned.
Check tread to determine whether tires need to be replaced. Do this by placing a penny inside the tread with Lincoln's head upside down and facing you. If you can see the top of his head, your tires need to be replaced.
Thousands of medical devices are currently being used to improve or even save lives every year. Unfortunately, some of these devices end up being defective, and rather than helping people, defective devices hurt and sometimes kill people. Because of the need for innovative medical devices, manufacturers are in a race to be the first to put new devices on the market. Devices may be poorly designed, or they may not be fully tested to ensure their safety. A number of devices have been found to be unsafe recently:
Heart devices, such as pacemakers and defibrillators
Joint replacement devices
Blood glucose monitors
Defects in medical devices are usually discovered only when people using them begin to experience problems. Sometimes those health problems can be devastating and seriously impact your life. At Bachus & Schanker, based in New Orleans, defective product attorneys know the importance of having safe medical devices on the market so that consumers are not unnecessarily injured. We will work to build a strong case against a manufacturer who placed a defective device on the market.
Just like other products that become the basis of product liability claims, pharmaceuticals can also be defective. Improperly manufactured drugs, or drugs that have unreasonably dangerous side effects can be especially harmful to consumers. Unfortunately, many times the drug can cause severe injury or even death, and the problem is not discovered until it's too late. Like manufacturers of medical devices, pharmaceutical manufacturers are in competition with each other to put new drugs out on the market as quickly as possible. Manufacturers may cut corners in testing drugs for safety in an effort to be the first company to release the drug to the market.
If you or a loved one has taken a drug and experienced harmful side effects or died as a result, or you have had issues with any other items included in a Louisiana product recall, a Louisiana defective product attorney at Bachus & Schanker can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.
New Orleans Personal Injury Lawyers
Place St. Charles
201 St. Charles Ave, Suite 2500
New Orleans, LA 70170
Phone / 504-246-2299