Product Related Wrongful Death

Manufacturers are obligated to produce working, safe products to consumers. Unfortunately, sometimes in the interest of saving money, faulty or cheap parts are used in a product. Sometimes money is saved by skimping on labour costs for skilled, competent workers. A failure can occur in proper inspections and testing of products before their release to the consumer market. Also, the packaging of a product can be hazardous, or the instructions for its use can be incorrect or amiss at informing consumers of the hazards of improper and unintended uses for a product. If there is a liability breach in any of these links of the manufacturing chain of a product- injury or death can result to consumers. Product related deaths account for approximately seven percent of deaths annually.

Product categories

  • Auto and auto parts
  • Consumer products (from toys to appliances and everything in between)
  • Medical items and machinery (insulin pumps, defibrilators, heart monitors)
  • Machine and industrial products
  • Food products (in association with pathogen or foreign object contamination)
  • Pharmaceuticals

When a negligent manufacturer produces a defective or dangerous product that causes injury or wrongful death, one or more parties in the products supply chain can be held liable. The types of claims made in defective products lawsuits are design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects.  

Design defects involve a bad design of the product overall. Design defects can consist of the incorporation of cheap or faulty parts in the product.  A recent example of this would be toys imported from China that used lead-based paint. This affects the entire line of the product- many thousands of the product were knowingly produced in this manner.  Harmful design defects often result in mass product recalls and class action lawsuits.  Class action lawsuits involve MANY plaintiffs collectively seeking damages for the same problem against a manufacturer of a defective or dangerous product. Recalls do not reach every person who bought a defective product. Harm still results when products are defective.

Manufacturing defects usually involve isolated incidents of products being unsafe. The original design of the product is fine, but a foreign object might find its way into the product. Another example would be a toy that is produced with a sharp burr sticking off of a surface or edge. The burr could result from oversight in cleanup of different stages of the toys assembly, or perhaps from mishandling. The point being, it was not in the original design, and does not effect the entire line of product. The manufacturer is no less liable for it being there, however. Inspections of products before they go to packaging should catch surface manufacturing defects. Manufacturing defects of internal parts become obvious when a product fails.

Marketing defects involve the faulty packaging of the product. The packaging should protect the product against breaking before it reaches the consumer. It also should not contain harmful or volatile materials. Another example of a marketing defect would be instructions included with the product that misinstruct the consumer on its proper use. Adequate warnings should be included to tell consumer of the unintended or improper uses of the product. This type of product liability breach could also result in class action lawsuits as it would also affect an entire line of products.

If you believe the wrongful death of a loved one was caused by a defective or dangerous product, contact the Sweeney Law Firm. Let our experts review the facts- you may have a product-related wrongful death case. Experienced lawyers and resources are needed for these types of cases as they involve the knowledge and testimony of many professionals- from doctors, to scientists, to engineers and others. Knowledge of product development, manufacturing, and government regulation of industry are but a few of the key areas involved in proving a manufacturer negligent. If the Sweeney Law firm accepts your product-related wrongful death case, it will be handled on a contingency fee basis.  We don’t get paid unless there is a settlement or a recovery of funds for you.