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What Should You Do If a Product You Purchased Is Defective?

May 26, 2021 | Defective Product

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Consumers purchase new products every day, trusting that the manufacturer has put the product through careful testing and inspections. Despite efforts during these tests, some products are still dangerous and can cause severe injuries.

If you’re injured by a defective product, you should take these two steps:

  1. See a medical professional immediately. The sooner you seek treatment for your injuries, the more likely it is that you will heal fully from them. Seeking medical attention right away will also make it clear that your injuries are directly related to your use of the defective product.
  2. Reach out to an attorney for information about getting your medical bills covered by the company that made the defective product. Provide as much detail as you possibly can during these initial conversations with your attorney. This will lay a firm foundation for your defective product case and help protect your right to pursue a lawsuit—should you choose to do so.

Navigating defective product injuries can be challenging, and sometimes there are multiple parties involved. While a company might oversee the product design, a separate facility might complete the quality inspections as the products come off the line. 

Still, another company might be responsible for transporting the goods to the store, leaving room for improper handling and damage to the product. And in some circumstances, yet another party could be in charge of installing a part, such as an auto mechanic where improper installation leads to defects. 

We’ll explain how class action lawsuits can play a role in your ability to pursue damages from a company that manufactures and sells defective products.

Defective Products and Class-Action Lawsuits

When a defective product injures several people, an attorney might organize a class-action lawsuit to pursue damages for all consumers who purchased the product. These class-action suits aim to compensate consumers for the price they paid for the product as well as the damages they experienced—either physical injuries or property damage.

Class-action lawsuits are more common for defective products that have faulty designs and impact many consumers. In some cases, a manufacturing defect will only impact one or two products instead of hundreds or thousands. The circumstances of your case will impact whether you join a class-action lawsuit or file your own case against the company.

Defective Product Case Examples

Some defective products have far-reaching implications. When left on the market, these products harm thousands of individuals, and the lawsuits related to them are numerous. Here’s a look at some of the more high-profile defective product cases over the last few years.

  • 3M Military earplugs – Many people who used the 3M dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs between 2003 and 2015 suffered hearing loss. Military members who were impacted by the defective product can file a lawsuit for medical bills, pain and suffering, as well as other damages from the use of the defective product.

 

  • Johnson & Johnson baby powder – The company faced thousands of lawsuits from people claiming that the talc-based baby powder caused cancer. In 2019, the company removed the baby powder from circulation “out of an abundance of caution” and replaced it with a cornstarch-based product. The lawsuits resulted in a $100 million settlement to close out the claims.

 

  • General Motors ignition switch – In 2014, General Motors recalled 2.6 million vehicles due to a faulty ignition switch that could make the engine shut off while the vehicle was still in motion. In case of an accident, the airbags would not deploy since the ignition switch was off. At least 124 deaths are attributed to the defective product. The case resulted in $870 million in settlements.

If you’ve been injured by a defective product, you should contact Stewart & Stewart as soon as possible. We’ll look at the details surrounding your injuries and offer our expertise in helping you recover from your injuries.

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