As a consumer, you don't expect a product you purchase to harm or maim you. Most consumers purchase products assuming that they’re reasonably safe. Unfortunately, manufacturers and sellers do sell defective products that can cause serious or even fatal injuries. Products that might be defective include cars, bicycles, trucks, toys, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, and appliances. If you were injured by a defective product, you should discuss whether you have grounds to sue with the seasoned Seattle product liability attorneys of Blair and Kim.Washington Product Liability Law
Plaintiffs typically pursue product liability lawsuits under state law. The Washington Product Liability Act sets forth an exclusive legal remedy for those injured by a dangerous or defective product. Sometimes, multiple parties are responsible for manufacturing, distributing, and selling a defective product, and each may need to be pursued for damages.
A product manufacturer can be held accountable under a theory of strict liability. Under Washington law, a manufacturer is a person or entity who makes, produces, designs, constructs, fabricates, or re-manufacturers a product or its component. In a product liability lawsuit, the emphasis is on whether the product was reasonably safe and the consumer’s expectations, not whether the manufacturer acted reasonably according to a particular standard. Manufacturers can be held strictly liable.
Manufacturing defects occur when an iteration of a product, or perhaps a few from the same batch, cause injury due to their deviation from the product's design. If the product that harmed you was caused by a product that wasn’t reasonably safe in construction or didn’t conform to a manufacturer’s express or implied warranties, an experienced product liability attorney in Seattle may be able to hold the manufacturer strictly liable for your harm. For instance, if you were sold a power tool with an express written warranty, but a flawed component unexpectedly amputated your finger, you may be able to hold the manufacturer liable for damages arising from the amputation based on manufacturing defects and breach of express warranty.
The Washington statute also provides for recovery based on design defects under a risk-utility formula. To determine whether a product is reasonably safe for purposes of the Washington Product Liability Act, the court will examine the case from an ordinary consumer's perspective. A company can be held accountable for a defectively-designed product where the chances of an injury were more costly than it would have been for the company to use an alternative design. The court will look at whether the manufacturer had an alternative design that was both feasible and practical, given the circumstances. For example, if you were injured by an appliance that shot out a part into your eye, and did this to multiple consumers, your Seattle product liability lawyer would need to show that the potential risks and costs to consumers like you were outweighed by the cost the manufacturer would have faced using a safer design.
Washington law also provides for recovery under the consumer expectations standard. Under this standard, a product isn't safe enough if an ordinary consumer wouldn't deem it sufficiently so.
You may also be able to pursue damages if the manufacturer did not include appropriate warning labels and instructions.Seller Liability
In most cases, when the seller is simply in the chain of distribution and doesn't have its name of the product, it will be subject to a lawsuit under a theory of negligence, rather than strict liability. A seller is person or entity involved in selling products, whether for use, consumption or resale. It may be more challenging to establish seller liability in a defective products case.Consult a Seasoned Seattle Lawyer
Dangerous products can cause grievous harm. If you were injured or a loved one was killed by a dangerous product, you should talk to Blair & Kim. Their tenacious product liability lawyers in Seattle may be able to fight for you to obtain the compensation to which you’re entitled for your losses. They also represent the injured in Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, and throughout King County. Call us at (206) 622-6562 or contact us through our online form.