Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of commercial products have a responsibility to ensure that any product used by consumers is reasonably safe for its intended use. When they make or sell unsafe products, people can be seriously injured. According to statistics from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 30 million people are injured every year due to defective products.
Portland Product Liability Attorneys Can Help You Receive Compensation
There are laws to protect consumers by ensuring that the parties involved in the manufacturing, distributing and selling of commercial products are held liable for the damages caused by their unsafe products by product liability attorneys. Products are generally determined to be defective in one or more of the following areas:
- Design Defects: The design of the product is unsafe, so it can be assumed that the entire product line is unsafe. If an injury occurs as a result of a poorly designed product, then the parties responsible for the product can be held liable for design defects.
- Manufacturing Defects: The product may be well-designed, but the way in which it was made causes it to be unsafe. An example would be if a product does not meet the manufacturing specifications and causes injury as a result.
- Insufficient Instructions or Warnings: If a product does not contain proper warnings or instructions for safe operation and someone is injured as a result, a consumer may be entitled to damages based on this defect.
If you or a close family member has been injured as a result of a defective product, you will want to preserve the evidence and consider filing a products liability lawsuit. It is important to remember to keep the defective product, or any unused portion of the product. Our reputable products liability lawyers at DuBois Law Group LLC can help with many types of product liability cases.
Types of Oregon Product Liability Cases
Our firm can help you obtain compensation for the damages that you have suffered as a result of negligent parties who create, distribute and sell unsafe products. Product liability suits have been filed due to defects in many types of products including:
- Automotive products
- Industrial products
- ATVs and quads
- Riding lawnmowers
- Household products
- Sporting goods products
- Food products
Product Liability Claim Compensation
Our Portland product liability attorneys understand the anguish and betrayal you feel when you purchase a product with reasonable expectations, only to be injured in return. We can represent you and navigate all the complexities of the products liability laws to ensure that you and your family receive maximum compensation for your injuries. You may be entitled to damages for:
- Present and future medical bills
- Loss of wages
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, contact our Portland product liability attorneys today for a FREE case evaluation. We are dedicated to holding negligent manufacturers legally responsible. For more information and a free consultation about your dangerous product case, please contact our experienced Portland defective product injury attorneys today. Call 503-486-3557 and let us protect your rights.
Past Product Liability Case Example
Product Liability Case Example: Toxic Tort Claim
C.B. was working when he was exposed, through the neglect of a local business, to dangerous chemicals that greatly affected his health. Having developed a lifelong condition because of this exposure, he turned to the personal injury attorneys at SDB to help him. Despite previous health problems, he was able to show, with our help, the direct connection between his health condition and the business’s negligence – and make the company compensate him. This case settled for a confidential amount.
Proving Fault in an Oregon Product Liability Lawsuit
Under Oregon’s product liability law, victims of defective products can hold the manufacturer, distributor, seller, or lessor of the defective product liable for their personal injuries. They can also hold them liable for wrongful death and property damages. Proving liability is one of the most important aspects of winning a product liability lawsuit in Oregon. Under Oregon product liability law, you will need to prove the following elements:
- The defendant engaged in the business of manufacturing, distributing, or selling the defective product
- The product was defective and unreasonably dangerous
- The product was not modified before it was sold to you, the consumer
There are two key legal theories related to product liability cases. Suppose you decide to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer, seller, or distributor of the dangerous products. In that case, your attorney will need to decide which legal theory best fits your case. The first legal theory is negligence. If you were injured because a company negligently designed or manufactured a consumer product, you can bring a lawsuit under the theory of negligence.
The second legal theory is called strict liability. In some cases, courts decide that the product was inherently dangerous. Inherently dangerous products are dangerous regardless of whether a consumer uses the product properly or not. In strict liability cases, you will not need to prove that the defendant acted negligently. You will only need to prove that the dangerous product caused your injuries.
The Consumer Expectation Test
If a defective product caused your injury, you will need to prove that it was manufactured incorrectly, was unsafe, utilized defective materials, or had inadequate warnings or instructions. Oregon uses a consumer expectation test to determine whether the defendant should be held liable for a defective product. Oregon used to follow a reasonable manufacturer test, but 20 years ago, courts started instructing juries in product liability lawsuits to use the consumer expectation test instead.
With the consumer expectation test, the injured party must prove that the product was in a defective condition that made it unreasonably dangerous. Products are unreasonably dangerous when they are “dangerous to an extent beyond that which would be contemplated by the ordinary consumer who purchases it, with the ordinary knowledge common to the community as to its characteristics.” McCathern v. Toyota Motor Corp., 332 Or 59, 77 (2001) (quoting RESTATEMENT (SECOND) OF TORTS §402A comment I (1979)).
Members of the jury are not allowed to use their own personal views of whether a product had conditions that they would expect personally. Jurists cannot put themselves in the injured plaintiff’s shoes and decide whether the product was unreasonably dangerous. Instead, they need to consider the views of the community as a whole. The consumer expectation test is an important part of a product liability lawsuit, and an experienced product liability lawyer can help you ensure that your rights are protected.
Manufacturers Can be Held Liability Even Though the Product Has a Warning Label
Victims of product liability injuries sometimes assume that they cannot bring a lawsuit against the manufacturer if the product they used had a warning label. However, even if the product had a warning label, the victim may be entitled to compensation because Oregon law treats label warnings in manufacturing defects as different types of product liability cases. Even if the product you used had a warning label, that does not mean the product was safe or not unreasonably dangerous. The defective product manufacturer could be liable if they made a mistake during the manufacturing process that caused the product to be dangerous.
Suppose someone was injured by a hairdryer becoming so hot that it burned their hand. Most hair dryers have warning labels showing the dangers of dropping the hairdryer in water. In this case, the victim could still file a lawsuit against the manufacturer because the warning label did not warn him or her about the hairdryer becoming hot and causing burns. Because there are several different categories of product liability lawsuits, it is crucial to discuss your case with a product liability lawyer. Knowing all of your legal options can help you seek the compensation you deserve through an effective legal strategy.
How Long Do You Have to File an Oregon Product Liability Claim?
Every state imposes a statute of limitations on lawsuits. A statute of limitations requires victims of personal injury accidents to file a case within a certain amount of time. In Oregon, the statute of limitation for product liability lawsuits varies depending on the type of injury and products involved. In most cases, lawsuits related to personal injuries or property damage must be filed within two years of the victim discovering the injury.
Product liability lawsuits must be filed within 10 years of when the product was first purchased for use. It is possible that a victim owned the dangerous product for nine years and became injured that year. In that case, he or she would have a year to file a product liability lawsuit.
Oregon has an additional statute of limitation requirement. In Oregon, product liability lawsuits are subject to the expiration of any statute of ultimate repose. In other words, Oregon judges can bar product liability lawsuits after the expiration of a defined timeframe, typically established after the product was first installed or delivered, instead of the date that the product caused the victim injury.
There are some exceptions to these general statutes of limitation time frames for damages in cases involving breast implants, asbestos-related diseases, and other types of specific products. Do you have questions about how long you have to bring a lawsuit? If so, the experienced product liability lawyers at DuBois Law Group, LLC, can help you determine how long you have to file a lawsuit and ensure you file your lawsuit within the time limit.