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Phoenix Product Liability Attorneys

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Defective Products

If you or a loved one have suffered harm due to a defective product, we’re here to help. Our experienced product liability attorneys will guide you every step of the way.

Consumer Advocates

We’ll aggressively pursue compensation for injuries.

Product Claims

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Defective Products

Don’t go up against large manufacturers alone.

Phoenix Product Liability Attorneys

Designers, manufacturers, retailers, and others involved in the chain of distribution must make sure that consumer products are thoroughly tested and safe to use as they are intended. When these companies fail to ensure the safety of consumer products, people who buy and use them can be at risk of harm if they are not reasonably warned about the dangers of the unsafe products.

While most products are safe and work as they should, manufacturers and others sometimes make mistakes. Products that reach the shelves and have poor designs, manufacturing defects, or inadequate warnings can seriously injure people who buy and use them. If you sustained serious injuries because of a defective product or inadequate warnings, you might be entitled to pursue compensation for your losses through a lawsuit. This type of legal claim is referred to as a product liability lawsuit.

The Lamber Goodnow injury lawyers advocate for people who have been hurt because of dangerous and defective products. Our legal team has decades of experience fighting for justice on behalf of injured victims and the families of those who have died because of the negligence of others in Phoenix and throughout the Southwest. Based in Arizona, our team of Phoenix product liability attorneys is dedicated to holding companies accountable for their actions in causing harm because of defective products.

Defective-Products

Different Types of Product Liability Claims

There are three different types of product liability claims, including the following:

  • Manufacturing defects
  • Design defects
  • Inadequate warnings

Product liability cases involving manufacturing defects deal with defects introduced during the manufacturing process. In these types of cases, only one or a few lots will contain the defect. Products with manufacturing defects leave the manufacturing facility in a different condition than what was intended.

Cases involving defective designs deal with products that were designed improperly. This type of defect will be present in all of the products manufactured with the defective design. You can show that a product has a defective design if it fails to perform reasonably safely even when it is used as intended or in a manner that could reasonably be foreseen.

Cases involving inadequate warnings deal with products that do not have sufficient warnings about the risks and dangers or shoddy instructions. For example, a small toy that could pose a choking hazard should include a warning about the risk and an age restriction. However, manufacturers are not required to warn about all potential dangers. Instead, they must warn consumers about dangers that could occur when the product is being used as intended and those that could reasonably be anticipated.

Manufacturers must also include proper instructions and warn consumers about the potential dangers of not following them.

Defective Products 2Theories of Liability

Product liability cases can be filed based on two different theories of liability, including negligence or strict liability. Strict liability claims are easier to prove because plaintiffs do not have the burden of proving the manufacturer or other defendant was negligent.

Product liability cases based on a theory of negligence require the plaintiffs to prove the following legal elements:

  • The manufacturer owed a duty of care to the plaintiff
  • The manufacturer breached the duty of care that was owed to the plaintiff
  • The breach of the duty of care directly or proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries

By contrast, in a strict liability product liability case, the plaintiff will not have to present evidence proving that the defendant breached a duty. Instead, the plaintiff will need to present evidence showing the following elements:

  • The product was unreasonably dangerous because of a defect
  • The unreasonably dangerous defect existed when the product left the control of the defendant
  • The unreasonably dangerous condition proximately or directly caused the plaintiff’s injuries

Damages in Product Liability Claims

The damages in a product liability case in Arizona will vary based on the severity of the injuries and other factors. Your attorney at Lamber Goodnow will assess your potential case and value it for you. Some of the types of compensatory damages that might be available include the following:

  • Past and future expected medical expenses to treat the injuries caused by the defective product
  • Past and future wage losses
  • Property losses
  • Funeral and burial costs in wrongful death claims
  • Lost inheritance rights in wrongful death claims
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement/scarring
  • Loss of the enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium/guidance in wrongful death cases

It is important to note that under Arizona Const. Art. 2, Sect. 31, the state’s constitution prohibits caps on damages.[1] Punitive damages might also be available in cases in which the defendant’s actions were egregious. These are damages that are meant to punish the defendant and are payable on top of compensatory damages. Punitive damages are rarely awarded. However, they might be available if the manufacturer was aware of the defect but failed to warn the public or took steps to conceal it from the public despite the dangers.

Because of the complexity of product liability cases, they often require substantial investigation and in-depth knowledge of the applicable laws. If you believe that your injuries were caused by a defective product, you should consult a product liability lawyer at the Phoenix law firm of Lamber Goodnow as soon as possible. We can handle all facets of your case while you focus on recovering from your injuries.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions the Phoenix product liability lawyers at Lamber Goodnow receive.

Q: What Is a Product Liability Lawsuit?

A: If you are injured or sickened because of a dangerous product, medical device, or prescription drug, a claim you might file against the product’s manufacturer is called a product liability lawsuit. This type of lawsuit might differ from other types of personal injury claims because the victims might not need to show that the manufacturer was negligent to recover compensation. Product liability lawsuits deal with defects in the manufacture, design, or warnings of a product that is used as intended but still causes serious injuries.

Q: Who Can Be Liable in a Defective Product Claim?

A: When you file a product liability lawsuit, you will want to identify all potentially liable parties and include them as defendants. Any party involved in the chain of distribution for the defective product should be named. Some of the potentially liable parties that could be defendants in your case include the following:

  • Product’s designer
  • Product’s manufacturer
  • Supplier
  • Distributor
  • Quality control professionals
  • Pharmacies
  • Retailers

Q: What Types of Evidence Will I Need to Prove My Case?

A: The evidence that you might need to prevail in your case will depend on the facts and circumstances. Your attorney will investigate your case and gather the evidence that best supports your claim of liability. The evidence your attorney will gather will be used to prove the elements of your case. You must prove all of the elements by a preponderance of the evidence to win your claim.

You will have to prove that you bought a product that included a defect or had inadequate warnings or instructions. You will then need to prove that you suffered injuries because of the defect in the product or the warnings. You will have to prove that the defect or inadequate warnings proximately or directly caused your injuries and losses. You will also have to present evidence showing that you used the product in the way in which it was meant to be used at the time you were injured.

Q: When Should I File a Product Liability Claim?

A: Like other states, Arizona has statutes of limitations that control when various types of legal claims must be filed. Under A.R.S. § 12-542, the statute of limitations for injury claims, including defective products cases, is two years from the date of your injury.[2] In wrongful death cases, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of your loved one’s death. While the statute of limitations is generally two years, Arizona follows the discovery rule.[3] Under this rule, the limitations period will not start to run until the date you discovered or reasonably should have discovered that your injuries were caused by the defective product. For example, if you took Zantac 10 years ago for stomach problems and recently were diagnosed with cancer caused by your prior use of Zantac, the discovery rule might apply. In this type of situation, the limitations period would start to run on the date you were diagnosed instead of 10 years ago when you took Zantac.

Q: How Much Is My Defective Product Lawsuit Worth?

A: Many people call the law firm of Lamber Goodnow to ask how much their injury claims might be worth. An attorney can’t tell you how much you might recover in your case without meeting with you and reviewing the evidence. There is not a one-size-fits-all value that applies to product liability cases. Instead, the value of your claim will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of your case, including the severity of your injuries, the likelihood that you will recover, the nature of the defendant’s actions, and others.

Damages can generally be divided into compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are monetary awards that are meant to compensate you for your losses and can be further divided into special and general damages. Special damages include compensation for your economic losses such as your medical expenses, wage losses, and other out-of-pocket expenses you incurred because of your injuries. General damages are for your non-economic losses and are more difficult to value. These include damages for your physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other types of non-economic losses.

Punitive damages are only awarded in cases in which a defendant’s actions were outrageous, reckless, willful, or wanton. As such, they are rare. However, if the manufacturer in your case intentionally concealed the danger and continued selling the defective product despite its risks, punitive damages might be available. These are damages that are awarded to punish defendants and deter both them and others from engaging in similar conduct in the future.

Q: Can I Sue a Pharmaceutical Company for Side Effects From a Medication?

A: Many medications cause side effects. Pharmaceutical companies are supposed to provide warnings about the potential side effects and other risks of the drugs they manufacture and sell. When a medication does not include adequate warnings about side effects, injured victims might have grounds to file product liability claims. However, if you were properly advised about the potential side effects of the medication by your doctor, pharmacist, or the drug fact sheets you were provided, you won’t have grounds to file a product liability claim.

Contact the Phoenix Product Liability Attorneys at Lamber Goodnow

The Phoenix product liability attorneys have extensive experience fighting for justice on behalf of people who have been injured by defective products or inadequate warnings for years throughout the Southwest. Attorneys Marc Lamber and James Goodnow wrote parts of the Arizona Tort Law Handbook on behalf of the State Bar of Arizona and have the substantial legal knowledge and litigation experience you need to pursue your claim. We can provide you with legal guidance about your rights and advocate for you to protect your interests throughout your case.

Our attorneys are not afraid to prosecute product liability claims against the largest manufacturers and retailers in the U.S. We work to hold all of the parties involved accountable for their actions and our clients’ injuries. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your potential claim.

References

[1] Ariz. Const. Art. 2, Sect. 31.
[2] A.R.S. § 12-542.
[3] Lawhon v. L.B.J. Institutional Supply, Inc., 765 P. 2d 1003, 1007 (Ct. App. 1988).

 

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