It certainly could be. A product liability case in Texas is based on strict liability, which means a consumer’s negligence does not bar recovery. In other words, the court will not compare the consumer’s fault for the injury versus the product’s fault. You only need to show there was a fault with your product and that it was responsible for the injury. If done, you could recover damages for things like medical bills, lost wages, disability, or trauma.
Types Of Faults
A fault can come in a few different forms. They are design or manufacturing defects or a failure to instruct and warn.
Design Defect – A perfectly manufactured product that causes an injury may suffer from a design defect. An exception is for products that are clearly dangerous to a “reasonable” person. Common examples of these are tobacco, alcohol, butter, and sugar. A design defect can be found if the plaintiff can show a technically and financially feasible alternative design that would have prevented the injury while maintaining most of the product’s utility. Examples of previous design defects that resulted in product liability include car airbags or small, swallowable parts on children’s toys.
Manufacturing Defect – A safely designed product can still suffer from a manufacturing error that creates a defect that causes an injury. A successful claim has to present clear evidence of the defect. This could present a challenge if the product was damaged when the defect caused the injury. For example, a ladder with an improperly installed fastener falls apart, causes injury, but the defective fastener is lost or destroyed.
Failure To Instruct and Warn – A manufacturer must provide proper instructions for the safe use of their product. For example, if there is a safer way to use the product, the instructions must explain it. The manufacturer must also warn the consumer of any non-apparent dangers from the product’s use and the dangers of its misuse. Examples include hormone therapy pills that fail to warn of negative health consequences or a wood cutting machine that fails to specify where to place your hands.
Challenges To A Successful Product Liability Claim
A successful product liability claim can be a difficult achievement. Defendants are incentivized to defend themselves vigorously, as they can be expensive to lose. One common defense tactic is to claim the plaintiff has not identified the correct party at fault. Take the ladder example from above. The assembly plant could claim the fastener was properly affixed, but that the manufacturer of the part is at fault for the metal being too weak.
The claimant, in this example, would still have to establish the fastener caused the ladder to break. Here, the defendant may claim the consumer altered the ladder or used it in a manner contrary to the instructions or warnings. Defendants in product liability cases will need to defend themselves with experienced legal counsel.
Contact An Experienced Houston Texas Product Liability Attorney Today
Houston area products liability attorney Aaron W. Perry can help you establish your claim and overcome all the hurdles thrown up by a vigorous defendant’s counsel. Contact Aaron W. Perry today to guide you through this complex process, don’t go it alone. Be sure to follow us on Facebook.