Denver Product Liability Attorneys
When a company invents, designs, manufactures and sells a product, it has the obligation to make sure it’s safe — that it won’t choke your child, that it wont’ explode in your hands, that it won’t cause someone’s death. If a product fails, it puts all users at risk.
If you’ve been injured, or if your property has suffered damage because a product didn’t work as it was designed, you might be able to pursue a legal case to seek compensation to cover your injuries and damages. The Lamber Goodnow injury law team, working with our partner firms throughout Colorado have product liability professionals who are knowledgeable in matters involving defective products, damaged products and the injuries that often result from them.
Why Warning Labels Matter
When you buy a new blender or a lawnmower, it comes with an instruction manual. That manual also has safety information. All of that material is there for a reason — it’s designed to protect you, and warn you about prospective injuries. So if you buy a new gadget and it explodes in hour hands, causing a burn, or chards of hot plastic hit you in the eye, there’s reason for concern.
Not only do you have an injury, and perhaps a burned countertop, but also you know that every other person who owns that product could be at risk for an injury. A product recall might be in order.
Defective products are on shelves across the globe, and product liability attorneys exist to help get dangerous products off the market and bring compensation to the individuals who were injured by them. It doesn’t matter if the product is domestic or imported. There are standards that must be met, and our team is here to be advocates for our clients.
Types of Product Liability Cases
When we work on a product injury case, our team of lawyers partners with engineers and other experts to determine what makes a product defective. We’ll investigate the history of the device, any updates it’s gone through, and review the published material about it.
Here are the common types of products that could result in defective product cases:
- Pharmaceuticals: side effects that weren’t disclosed, or other complications as the result of using a drug
- Children’s toys: flammable products, choking hazards and other items that can especially harm a child
- Household appliances: products with motors and other electrical components that can overheat, cause a fire and malfunction
- Outdoor products and tools: heavy-duty equipment like drills, chainsaws and the like, all which have the potential to cause serious injury, even death, if they malfunction
- Medical devices: implants, pumps, filters and other devices that are inserted in the body during medical procedures
You Have Defective Product Injury Questions – We Have Answers:
What is product liability?
A plaintiff may bring a product liability case if a manufacturer or a seller is at fault for placing a defective and unreasonably dangerous product into the hands of the consumer. Responsibility for the injuries to the consumer lies with all the sellers of the product in the distribution chain depending on certain circumstances and exceptions. Under Colorado’s Product Liability Act there are four state law legal theories that fall under product liability: (1) negligence, (2) breach of warranty, (3) strict liability, and (4) misrepresentation.
How does a plaintiff prove negligence in a product liability lawsuit?
To prove negligence in a product liability case in Colorado the plaintiff must prove four elements: “(1) the defendant manufactured the product; (2) the defendant was negligent in manufacturing (or designing, or providing adequate warnings for) the product (breach of duty); (3) the plaintiff was one of those persons the defendant should reasonably have expected to use, consume or be affected by the product (foreseeability); (4) causation; and (5) damages.
How does a plaintiff prove breach of warranty in a product liability lawsuit?
There are three theories under breach of warranty that a plaintiff may use to prove product liability. The first is breach of express warranty. An express warranty may be either oral or written and may be created by an affirmation of a fact, or promise. A jury will decide if there has been an express warranty and it be proven that the statement was relied on by the plaintiff in their purchase of the product.
The second breach of warranty is breach of implied warranty of merchantability (can be sold). “Where a seller is a merchant with respect for goods of that kind, a warranty that the goods shall be merchantable is implied in a contract for their sale unless properly excluded or modified.” To show that defendant has breached the implied warranty of merchantability a plaintiff must show that they are not the same kind, or quality that goods similar would be.
The third theory is breach of implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose. To show a defendant breached this warranty a plaintiff must prove the seller of a product knows the particular purpose of the product and relays this to the consumer, who relied on the advice and purchased the defective product.
How does a plaintiff prove strict liability in a product liability lawsuit?
To prove strict liability the plaintiff must prove five elements: (1) the defendant was the product’s manufacturer and engaged in the business of selling the product, (2) the product was sold by the defendant, (3) the product was defective and the product was unreasonably dangerous when it left the defendant’s control, (4) it was expected for the product to reach the consumer, the product does reach the consumer, and there was no substantial change in its condition when sold, and (5) the defective product caused the plaintiff injury.
How does a plaintiff prove misrepresentation in a product liability lawsuit?
A manufacturer may be strictly liable for the misrepresentation of a product even if the product has no defect. To prove misrepresentation the plaintiff must prove the following, “(1) misrepresentation of a material fact concerning the character or quality of a product; (2) a misrepresentation made to the public; and (3) physical harm resulting to a consumer from justifiable reliance upon the misrepresentation.”
Who can be held at fault in a product liability lawsuit?
In Colorado, under the Product Liability Act, only a manufacturer may be sued in tort for product liability, regardless of the theory. Recovery from other parts of the chain of distribution are only available in certain circumstances including: “(1) if jurisdiction cannot be obtained over those who do meet the statutory definition of manufacturer; (2) if a seller is deemed to be a manufacturer because of its role in producing or preparing a product or component prior to sale; (3) if a seller has actual knowledge of a defect in a product; (4) if the seller exercises significant control over all or part of the manufacturing process or alters the product in a significant way; (5) if it is owned in significant party by, or owns the manufacturer; and (6) in some instances, if it is involved in the production or manufacturing process, or failed to disclose who the actual manufacturer was.
How do you prove a product is defective and therefore unreasonably dangerous?
Under the theory of strict product liability the plaintiff (injured party) must prove that a product that was defective caused their injuries, and that the defect made the product unreasonably dangerous. The three different types of product defects that may cause injury include: (1) a manufacturing flaw, (missing component, broken part) or it was not made as it was planned and should have been built; (2) the product design is incorrect; or (3) the product is inadequately labeled or lacks sufficient warning of its dangers.
What is Res ipsa loquitur?
Many times proof of negligence may often be difficult or impossible to show. Res ipsa loquitur is the principal that the occurrence of the accident itself implies negligence. Res ipsa loquitur may be applied to product liability cases in Colorado.
Colorado law uses three elements to prove res ipsa loquitur: (1) the event is the kind that ordinarily does not occur without negligence. (2) other causes, including the conduct of third persons and the plaintiff, are eliminated by evidence; and (3) the negligence is within the scope of the defendant’s duty to the plaintiff.
What if I was injured by a defective product but was not the one to purchase the product, may I still file a lawsuit?
Yes. The plaintiff need not be the buyer to recover damages under any of the product liability theories. A manufacturer may be liable to a consumer, a user, or a bystander for injuries caused by a defective product.
Do I need to file my product liability lawsuit right away?
In Colorado personal injuries or property damage caused by a defective and unreasonably dangerous product must be filed within three years of the accident. Col. Rev. Stat. 13-80-101(n).
However, after 10 years has passed after a product is first sold, there will be a rebuttable presumption that the product was not defective, that the manufacturer was not negligent, and that all warranties were proper and adequate.
It is very important if you have injuries from a defective product to contact a personal injury attorney who can look over the time frames in your product liability case in order to file a timely lawsuit.
May I recover damages if I didn’t use the defective product like it was supposed to be used?
In Colorado misuse of a defective product by the consumer may be a complete bar to recovery and is an absolute defense. However, a plaintiff may still recover damages if the defendant is unable prove that the misuse of the product could not have been reasonably anticipated by the manufacturer.
An example of this would be a plaintiff using fishing line to hang an object that ends up falling and causing the plaintiff injury. Although fishing line should be used for fishing activities, many people use it for hanging different items. This would be a misuse that the manufacturer could have reasonably anticipated and warned against.
The Lamber Goodnow Difference
Our highly regarded product liability team is prepared to go up against any manufacturer or insurance company — no matter how large, we have the resources available to see your case through to the end. We’re not easily intimidated, and insurance companies quickly find that out when they encounter us.
When you start working with us, you’ll see that we work a little differently. First, you’re under no obligation to hire us when you first give us a call. In fact you can call us at (303) 800-8888 to get connected with an attorney. This free conversation gives you the chance to talk about your experiences and injury, explain the product and how it failed, and also ask us some questions.
If you like what you hear, when you hire us you’ll be protected by our No-Fee Promise. Under that, we promise that we’ll fund the entirety of your case — that’s the investigation, litigation, everything — and you won’t be responsible for out-of-pocket expenses. We’ll only get paid when, or if, we recover money for you through a settlement or through a verdict in your favor.
If you’ve been hurt by a product, you deserve compensation — and the general public deserves to know and be protected. Call us today, and we’ll work together to make store shelves safer.
 Colo. Jury Instr., 4th Civil 14:17.
 Palmer v. A.H. Robins Co., 684 P.2d 187, 38 U.C.C. Rep. Serv. 1150 (Colo. 1984).
 Col. Rev. Stat. § 4-2-313(1)(a).
 Col. Rev. Stat. § 4-2-313(1).
 Col Rev. Stat. § 4-2-314.
 Col. Rev. Stat. § 4-2-314(2)(d).
 Col. Rev. Stat. § 4-2-315.
 Barton v. Adams Rental, Inc., 938 P.2d 532, Prod. Liab. Rep. (CCH) P 14975 (Colo. 1997).
 American Safety Corp. v. Winkler, 640 P.2d 216 (Colo. 1982).
 Bond v. E.I. DuPont De Nemours and Co., 868 P.2d 1114 (Colo. App. 1993).
 Col. Rev. Stat. § 13-21-401(1).
 Stone’s Farm Supply, Inc. v. Deacon, 805 P.2d 1109 (Colo. 1991).
 Restatement Second, Torts § 328D.
 American Safety Equipment Corp. v. Winkler, 640 P.2d 216 (Colo. 1982).
 Col. Rev. Stat. § 13-21-403(3), Colo. Jury Instr., 4th Civil 14:5B.
 Armentrout v. FMC Corp., 819 P.2d 522, Prod. Liab. Rep (CCH) P 13039 (Colo. App. 1991).
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