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Product Liability Lawyer

Danger sign with skull and crossbonesMaine personal injury law firm advocates for consumer rights in Portland, Lewiston, & Bangor area.

In practice for nearly four decades, the product liability lawyers of Hardy, Wolf & Downing have sought damages for those injured by faulty vehicle parts, defective household items and recalled or contaminated foods. Whether harm was sustained from exposure to a prescription drug, a poorly manufactured infant toy, or inadequate warnings on a product label, our attorneys have specialized knowledge and years of experience in this complex area of personal injury law.

The term “product liability” refers to the legal responsibility of a manufacturer, distributor or seller for any consumer injury that is attributed to a defective or hazardous item placed in the stream of commerce.

Statistics on product liability injuries are grim, with thousands of innocent Americans harmed every year from unsafe or shoddily manufactured items intended for everyday use. Regrettably, the greater part of these injuries could have been prevented, if manufacturers had taken proper steps to ensure product safety beforehand.

Leading product liability attorneys in Maine

You and your loved ones expect to be safe when using a consumer product for its intended purpose, but if injuries are sustained you may be entitled to compensation if the product lacked adequate warnings or was defectively designed or manufactured.

At the law office of Hardy, Wolf & Downing, we pride ourselves in helping injured clients balance the scales of justice. Corporate America should be held accountable for making and selling hazardous products, and we promise to fight for maximum compensation to ensure your family’s financial future is never in jeopardy.

Every year, jurors award millions of dollars to victims in product liability lawsuits. The amount of compensation varies depending on the degree of damages incurred, along with the liability of manufacturers or distributors in their failure to properly design, produce, test and label their products before placing them on the market.

Our veteran personal injury attorneys offer free case reviews to determine if your injuries warrant legal action against the product manufacturer, designer or retail distributor.

Common product liability claims

In some situations, product defects are a result of manufacturing errors, such as packaging defects that allow mold spores to grow in food, or an auto ignition switch that intermittently fails due to poor workmanship or careless assembly.

Other claims arise from a manufacturer’s failure to warn of possible risks or hazards when the item is used for its intended purpose.

Lastly, an inherent design defect poses risk of injury no matter how well the product is made, as the problem lies within the blueprint of the item itself.

Examples of product liability claims handled by our firm include:

  • Defective automobile parts or design, such as malfunctioning seat belts or airbags
  • Dangerous or recalled pharmaceuticals
  • Recalled baby toys
  • Recreational items such as exercise equipment and playground accessories
  • Defective household products like power tools, garage openers and heaters
  • Food recalls due to contamination
  • Medical devices such as hip and knee replacements
  • Vehicle recalls
  • Child safety seats
  • Industrial equipment defects

In order to establish liability, our firm works with qualified industry experts across the country who can provide crucial testimony as to a product’s intrinsic design flaws or manufacturing defects, regardless if it was subject to a recall.

Product defects lead to serious injuries

Understanding your legal rights as a consumer is essential, and at Hardy, Wolf & Downing, we’ll examine the circumstances of your injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one to determine whether you have a viable claim for compensation.

In order to win a product liability lawsuit, we must prove the following occurred:

  1. The plaintiff suffered a verifiable personal injury
  2. The product that caused the injury was either defective or carried inadequate warnings
  3. The particular product defect or alleged failure to warn was the direct cause of injury
  4. Injuries were sustained while using the product for its intended purpose

If it is proven that a manufacturing defect made a product unreasonably dangerous for the user, a victim may sue under the theory of strict liability. Design defects – another claim in product liability litigation – have been blamed in numerous vehicle recalls, such as a defective airbag component found in more than 2 million Toyotas.

In a separate incident involving floor mats that caused accelerators to become stuck in certain models, Toyota agreed to settle hundreds of personal injury lawsuits to avoid costly and protracted litigation. The auto maker opted to settle cases in both federal and state courts after an Oklahoma jury determined the company had acted with reckless disregard and was liable for a car accident that killed one and left another person with serious injuries.

Negligence in failing to warn of known dangers

When products lack specific language about potential hazards or health risks, a manufacturer or supplier may be held liable for resulting injuries. However, it’s up to the claimant to prove that a proper warning would have prevented or significantly reduced the chance of injury.

Our lawyers will look at the following issues before filing a lawsuit based on failure to warn:

  • Did the product labels or warnings themselves contribute to the injuries?
  • Was the product used for its intended purpose?
  • Could foreseeable risks have been mitigated by adequate warnings?
  • Was the warning easy to understand and contain words like caution, danger, hazard or notice?
  • How much did the label depend on the experience of the consumer?
  • Were pictorials used to clarify known dangers?
  • Was the product warning conspicuous and easy to understand?

Product liability lawyers help protect your rights

Although product liability claims seem relatively straightforward, legal pitfalls abound. As with any type of personal injury lawsuit, statutes of limitation apply for filing suit, so don’t delay in contacting attorneys who are well-versed in products liability litigation nationwide.

Whether your injury happened at home or in the workplace, you may be eligible for compensation to help recoup losses associated with medical expenses, lost income, diminished earning capacity, pain and emotional suffering. To schedule your free consultation, we invite you to call the law offices of Hardy, Wolf & Downing at 1-800-INJURED.