The leading Maine product liability attorneys of Briggs & Wholey have established a reputation for excellence in personal injury law. We have successfully represented victims injured by defective products, holding leading manufacturers liable for the harm they cause. Our firm is dedicated to providing the highest quality legal representation to injured victims throughout Maine.
Product liability refers to a specific area of personal injury law involving defective or dangerous products. Millions of defective goods are recalled each year because some inherent flaw in the product causes harm to consumers. The defect can be in the product’s make, model, or design. It can happen on any assembly line, in the use of a toxic chemical, or anywhere during along the chain of production. Liability may even extend to the distributor or retailer selling the product. In lawsuits against Toyota, for example, injured drivers not only sued the car maker, but also the wholesalers and dealers that sell their vehicles. This may be because the merchant expressly warrants the car’s safety or markets a certain aspect of the vehicle that turned out to be false.
Dangerous defects can be found in a wide variety of everyday products, including:
- Medical devices
- Tools, appliances
- Baby toys and strollers
- Electronics and hardware
- Floor mats and brake pedals
- Asbestos and insulation
Defective products can cause serious injury. The harm may not be immediate, but can manifest slowly over time. Lead, asbestos, and carcinogens are all toxic materials contained in everyday goods. Long-term exposure to these chemicals may cause chronic illness or disease, such as mesothelioma. Defective products can also be dangerous if used incorrectly. While most cases involve defective goods that were used as intended, many are based on injury caused by a “reasonably foreseeable” use. Baby toys, for example, have an obvious “intended” use, but are recalled when they end up strangling or harming the baby. Many pharmaceuticals have beneficial “off-label” uses, but may also have irreversible side effects. In some product liability cases, the defect is not apparent until months or years after it is made. But when the consumers suffer the consequences, the manufacturer must take responsibility.
Manufacturers have a duty to make safe products that do not harm the consumer. This may require tight supervision of assembly or design and various quality control systems to ensure the product is safe. Even if there is no obvious flaw in the product, it may still have foreseeable risks: manufacturers must provide adequate directions and clear labels warning consumers of the danger. For example, warnings stickers on all-terrain vehicles advise drivers against sharp turns and many prescription medications have warning labels. Because manufacturers are in the best position to detect potential defects and warn consumers of danger, they are “strictly liable” for any harm they cause. This means consumers do not have to prove negligence, but only that there was a defect and that the use of the defective product caused injury. Mainers injured by defective products are entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and costs.
If you were injured by a defective product, contact the experienced Maine product liability lawyers at Briggs & Wholey today. For nearly 30 years, we have been dedicated to helping injured victims recover the compensation they deserve. Our attorneys are renowned leaders in Maine injury law. We have successfully handled all types of cases involving defective products, recovering verdicts and settlements for clients throughout Maine. At Briggs & Wholey, we are not only top litigators; we treat every client with dignity and respect. Our experienced team of attorneys is devoted to helping you maximize your recovery and get back on your feet. For a free, confidential consultation, call us at (888) 596-1099 or contact us online.