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Maryland Defective Product Law | Virginia Products Liability Attorneys

DEFECTIVE PRODUCT LAW

Product Liability laws exist for a multitude of reasons, however the paramount reason for their existence is thought to be that they operate to protect consumers and the general public from injury arising from dangerous or defective products. The entire body of product liability law strives to impose reasonable limitations on manufacturers, by imposing a reasonable duty of care, at hopefully limited costs, while striving to achieve a societal benefit in protecting consumers. The body of law that falls under the “products liability” umbrella is also important to the business community since violations of these laws can lead to significant financial penalties for non-complying businesses, in the form of fines and punitive damages.

Frequently, when such laws are violated, innocent consumers of products are injured, and the manufacturers are held legally responsibility for the performance of their products even after those products gone through an extended chain of exchange. Take a motor vehicle air bag, for example. The front-seat air bag on a standard passenger vehicle is designed to protect passengers from head trauma, in a head-on collision. This is simple enough in theory. When vehicle sensors detect a head-on collision, if the system is operating correctly,  the air bag is supposed to deploy within a matter of milliseconds to stop the heads of the driver and passenger from making contact with the steering wheel or dashboard. Indeed, because of their usefullness and efficacy, air bags have become a standard safety feature in modern vehicles and they are so effective that many automotive manufacturers have begun including them on the sides of vehicles to stop passengers from hitting the windows on side impacts. The air bag is a pivotal part of a vehicle’s safety and prevents an innumerable amount of injuries and fatalities each year. However, airbags are not perfect. Errors occasionally do occur in the design and manufacturing process.

Part of the manufacturer’s duty of care to consumers, extends not only the manufacture and design of products, but also a reasonable “duty to warn,” under certain circumstances. However, a warning label that is affixed to a product does not always absolve potential defendants of legal liability, especially where the product has “inherently” dangerous propensities. In such cases, a recall of the affected products may be appropriate.

For example, auto manufacturers who operate in the United States have recently been the subjects a massive air-bag recall. This sort of thing happens occasionally, often beneath the awareness of the general public. However, this recall, unlike hundreds of others released to the public each year, is the largest consumer product recall in United States history. This recall affects one in every four vehicles on United States roads. The recalled vehicles come from eleven different car manufacturers and the cause of the recall is essentially that defective airbags that were installed in 34 million cars in the U.S. These airbags have the potential to explode and injure those they are designed to protect. Air bag manufacturer Takata has recently admitted that a faulty inflator can cause an airbag to explode, although the cause is still unknown.  According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), “These inflators were made with a propellant that can degrade over time and has led to ruptures that have been blamed for six deaths worldwide.”

It is also generally true that extremely dangerous products can carry with them strict liabilities for the manufacturer, regardless of the duty to warn or recall. The theory goes that a manufacturer enters into an industry to make a product, which they know is extremely dangerous. They can warn consumers all they like, but the danger of the products itself may be inescapable. Accordingly, in such situations, the law may decide the products are inherently dangerous and impose strict liability on the manufacturer regardless of whether there was any actual or constructive negligence. Such strict liability is thought to be a deterrent to manufacturer’s carelessness, in that it will encourage them to take every possible precaution to ensure consumer safety, for if they fail, someone will get hurt and they will be responsible.

Take alcohol and cigarettes for example – these products have been known for decades to be harmful to human health and have federally regulated warnings on their packaging. The latter product class has been labeled with vigor and contains some rather frightening warnings. Nevertheless consumers still drink and smoke, sometimes in sufficiently large enough quantities to lead to a health crisis. More importantly, there have been several successful recent class action lawsuits against cigarette manufacturers. Indeed, as the knowledge of humanity progresses, what becomes known as inherently dangerous is a shifting proposition. As such, the laws will likely change with the times to accommodate our knowledge of the world around us.

It is not only manufacturers that can bear liability for dangerous products, but distributors are often held accountable as well. For example, distributors often acquire legal responsibilities once they formally agree to sell certain products (Morningstar v. Black & Decker Manufacturing Co). For these reasons, the law calls for a reasonable standard of care on the part of BOTH manufacturers and distributors, in order to protect consumers. “Due diligence;” is thus, an important pre-emptive measure against those who would argue that they had no intention to harm or knowledge about the possibility for harm.

The Bottom Line

When corporations choose to release products onto the market, they should be held responsible for the harm those products inflict upon the people who trust them. If you or someone you love has been injured by the careless products released into the auto industry, or any other defective product, it is your right to remind these corporations that you trusted their product and it unfairly caused you harm. These laws exist to protect consumers of all products, including medicines, drugs, food substances and so forth.

Read Some of Our Recent Client Reviews!

Ashley Poole
Ashley Poole
01:05 08 Nov 18
Attorney Bob Katz and his staff are highly recommend. Customer Service was impeccable. Every phone call and email was responded to in a timely manner. Natalie Ulrich was very professional, helpful and thorough every step of the way, which resulted in a stress free experience. I will recommend this law firm to family and friends!
Tania Jefferson
Tania Jefferson
17:51 06 Nov 18
Customer service was A+. All questions were answered promptly and information was shared appropriately. Concerns were addressed and I was made aware of all updates on my case. I would whole heartedly recommend this firm.
edward Robinson
edward Robinson
03:00 06 Nov 18
I highly recommend Mr. Katz and his staff. They were friendly, compassionate and really showed they had their clients best interest at heart. There was never a time you called them they didn't respond or returned your calls and answer your questions.They took the worry, and stress and turn it into reassurance. They were diligent and just down right professional. My wife and I really thank God for allowing us to cross paths on a professional business experience. Ms. Rebecca Slatery is the most courteous, compassionate soul. We wish you all peace, love and blessings. Thank you for your service.
J JR
J JR
20:11 31 Oct 18
I decided to use this firm again for an accident I was involved in. As always they were professional and caring. Rebecca slattery was the paralegal assigned to my case and she was professional and kept me up to date with everything. I would recommend this firm to friends and family!
Cedric Jones
Cedric Jones
19:04 23 Oct 18
Erica Z is amazing with keeping you to date and staying communication with you during the entire process. Meghan Young was a wonderful lawyer made me feel extremely comfortable in the courtroom and she also fights for the best possible outcome for you..GREAT LAW FIRM
Nguyen Le
Nguyen Le
16:44 23 Oct 18
It was a great experience being taken care of by Rebecca Slattery and Meghan Young, they helped me resolve my case and were very courteous and professional. Highly recommend working with this law firm
Soun Gil
Soun Gil
21:35 17 Oct 18
Ms. Park helped me out through my whole accident process. She took her time with me and made sure I understood everything. I would recommend to her all of my friends if they were to get into any accident.
Yejin Chung
Yejin Chung
15:40 12 Oct 18
I highly recommend. My family’s experience with this office was great. Christina Franetovich was very helpful throughout the whole process, which made this experience less stressful. She responded to my questions immediately and made sure that I understood everything.
Claudette Pope
Claudette Pope
13:18 30 Aug 18
I was referred to Gordon & feindblatt in 2014 when my family was in an accident, Mr. Katz personally consulted with me by phone and he was very polite and professional, Mr. Carpuso, one of the litigation attorneys even came out to our home and went over our case with us, he made sure all of our needs was addressed and before he left our home that day I felt like we were old friends. that case was settled and I was very pleased, I have used this law firm twice since then and the results are always the same, I have nothing but great experiences with Gordon & Feindblatt the staff are courteous and professional and they get the job done but the one in particular that really stood out for me is Rebecca Slattery, she is truly a gem, she is so compassionate, she walked me through the entire process, she even checked up on me from time to time just to see how I was feeling and I really appreciated her kindness. I will use this law firm again and again for any future legal issue that may arise and I would highly recommend Gordon & Fiendblatt to friends, family and co-workers.
UniversalSniping
UniversalSniping
02:32 04 Aug 18
The lawyer who was initially handling my case parted ways with the company and I was assigned a new lawyer. This new lawyer was amazing! Christina Franetovich made me feel secure by double checking all the facts and notes in my case so that I was not worried during this transition. I was on disability from an a different accident while she was finalizing my case, and I had called and hounded her about the time frame of my settlement very frequently to the point that I felt guilty for calling so much. Christina was very sympathetic to my situation and assured me that she would do everything in her power to make sure the situation would be resolved quickly. She actually finalized my case before the time frame she had given me, was always very courteous and knowledgable on the phone, and I feel extremely lucky that she ended up handling my case because the previous lawyer was not as amazing with customer service as Christina. She also has a way of making you feel comfortable and builds incredible rapport quickly. I am going to highly recommend her to my friends and family. Thank you Christina!!!
Richard Hose
Richard Hose
02:26 27 Jun 18
On Feb 23, 2017 I was in a bad accident on the JFX. I had been rear end by another driver. Almost immediately I felt pressured by the other drivers insurance. Everything from wanting a recorded statement; to failing to acknowledge responsibility. No one would answer my questions, nor would anyone take responsibility. I was frustrated and overwhelmed with everyone from the towing company, to the repair shop, to the insurance company nightmare I just entered. I reached out to Attorney Robert Katz and I was assured they were here to help. He provided with some much needed information, and told me not to worry, Sarah his Paralegal would be in touch to help get things moving. Sarah reached out as expected and explained their process and walked me through what my expectations would be. She as well assured me they were here to help me navigate the obstacles. What Sarah really did was so much more than help. She took the stress and burden off my shoulders and assumed ownership for handling everything on my behalf. I knew what to expect, and I received regular updates throughout the entire process. Honestly, I received so much more than I anticipated. Some of the most frustrating items to chase after are medical records and hospital charges. While I was trying to recall events and timelines, she had already obtained my records and information. She made this process so painless. I truly cannot say enough about the exceptional service she provided. Many thanks for all your help. Sincerely, Richard Hose
Andrea Barajas
Andrea Barajas
15:13 16 May 18
My husband and I were in a car accident in August 2017. We contacted Bob Katz team for legal representation in our case. Kristen A. Turner was our paralegal and she was excellent. It took 9 months for us to receive our settlement and Kristen kept us updated throughout this entire process. She was very kind and patient as I happened to have several questions. She always answered my questions promptly and thoroughly. I would highly recommend this firm and Kristen if you are in need of legal assistance.
TheOfficalCeeandDee
TheOfficalCeeandDee
15:24 09 Feb 18
My experience here was great. My lawyer Rebecca was so professional and I love her personality. She handled my case well and kept me updated and made the process easy and always made me feel comfortable to call whenever I needed to know anything.
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