Cueria Law Firm, LLC

New Orleans Product Liability Lawyer

Everyday, we see new products that we hope will add something to our lives or make it a little easier. Sometimes, those products do exactly what we want them to, but other times the products do not work as we expected. When products do not work as they should, they can injure their consumers. When this happens, a product liability lawsuit may provide a proper remedy for those injuries.

Product liability law helps determine who is responsible for defective or dangerous products that are put on the market. Product liability law usually holds a manufacturer or seller liable for placing a defective product into the hands of a consumer.

Products are expected to live up to the “ordinary expectation of the consumer.” What the ordinary expectation of the consumer should be depends on the product, warning labels, what state law requires, and many other factors our New Orleans product liability lawyer can help you look at to determine the merit of your product liability claim.

Determining the right party to sue can be difficult in product liability cases because the liability for a product defect could rest with any party in the product’s chain of distribution. This chain includes the product manufacturer, manufacturers of component parts, parties that assemble or install the product, the wholesaler, and the retail store that sold the product to the consumer. Product liability cases can include incidents of personal injury and property damage.

Types of Product Defects

In order to have a successful product liability case, you have to be able to show that the product that caused injury was defective and that the defect made the product unreasonably dangerous. There are three types of defects that a product liability case can usually be based on. Design defects are ones that have been present in the product from the beginning even before it was manufactured—an issue with the design of the product itself. With this type of defect, something about the design itself made the product unsafe. Manufacturing defects are defects that happen in the course of manufacturing the product. Marketing defects are things like improper labeling, insufficient instructions, or inadequate safety warnings.

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The Louisiana Product Liability Act

When to Contact a New Orleans Product Liability Lawyer

The Louisiana Products Liability Act (LPLA) provides the applicable state law regarding manufacturers’ responsibilities and liability. The LPLA applies when a consumer uses a product in a way that is reasonably expected and something about the product makes it unreasonably dangerous when used in the manner expected.

Under this Act, in Louisiana, our New Orleans product liability lawyer can hold a manufacturer liable for injuries that are caused by their product if there is a defect:

  • In design
  • In construction or composition (manufacturing)
  • Because of a failure to adequately warn
  • Because it does not conform to an express warranty of the manufacturer

These are the types of product defects recognized in Louisiana. These defects can be present in any product created by a manufacturer, including household products, automobiles, and children’s toys. Your claim may be based on a failure to warn because the product was not properly labeled or the product may not have been assembled properly. Design defect claims can be successful if an alternative design that would have prevented your injury existed and the cost of using that design was less than the cost of liability created by the defective design. Our New Orleans product liability lawyer can assist you in these circumstances.

Medical Devices and Medicinal Drugs

The Louisiana Products Liability Act (LPLA) covers faulty and defective medical devices too. Manufacturers do have to get FDA approval before selling their medical devices to consumers. However, the FDA is required to review the research of the manufacturer in order to determine a product’s safety and efficacy. This means that the FDA does not independently verify the accuracy and completeness of the research done by the manufacturer. The LPLA also covers dangerous and defective pharmaceutical drugs. The same issue with the FDA not independently verifying the research exists with pharmaceutical drugs. However, the LPLA does not cover vaccine related injuries.

Other Rules You Should Know About

Louisiana has a few other special rules that govern products liability cases. For both personal injury and property damage claims, you have only one year from the date of the injury to file a claim, referred to as the “prescriptive period” in which the suit must be brought. Louisiana also uses something called the “discovery rule,” which means the one year limit does not start ticking down until you know or should reasonably have known about your injury and its connection to the defective product.

Louisiana also uses a method for evaluating damages called comparative fault. This means if you were partially to blame for an accident, you may still recover damages, but those damages will be reduced in proportion to your fault. If you were partially at fault, then a $100,000 award will be reduced by $80,000 if you were found to be eighty percent at fault. Louisiana also does not follow the economic loss rule, which means you can pursue a case with a New Orleans product liability lawyer even if all you lost was the product.

Successful Product Liability Case

Product liability claims are usually based on state laws and brought under the theories of negligence, strict liability, or breach of warranty. Additionally, a set of commercial statutes in each state will contain warranty rules affecting product liability. Plaintiffs do have an advantage in product liability lawsuits. The doctrine, known as “res ipsa loquitur,” shifts the burden of proof in some product liability cases to the defendant. The phrase means “the thing speaks for itself,” and it stands for the idea that the defect at issue would not exist unless someone was negligent. This means that it is on the defendant to show that they were not negligent.

Defendants can argue that the product was modified in an unforeseeable way after it left their control, or that unforeseeable misuse of the product was the sole cause of the damage. In some cases, the manufacturer can argue that at the time the product was put on the market their scientific or technical knowledge meant they couldn’t have known about the danger. This is why it is important to have a knowledgeable New Orleans product liability lawyer working for you, so that they can shield you from blame and make sure the proper defendant is held responsible for the injuries caused.

Sometimes, we buy a new product and it does not work as well as we thought it should, or it just is not as useful as we had hoped. However, some products fall so far from what they are expected to be that they actually harm the user. When this happens, product liability law provides the foundation for building a personal injury or property damage case against a manufacturer and/or other parties in the product supply chain.This chain includes the product manufacturer, manufacturers of component parts, parties that assemble or install the product, the wholesaler, and the retail store that sold the product to the consumer. 

Typically, there are three kinds of product defects that you can bring a lawsuit under; design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects. A product liability lawsuit can be brought if you believe a product that injured you or a loved one had one or multiple of these types of defects. 

Products Covered by Louisiana Product Liability Laws

The Louisiana the Louisiana Products Liability Act (LPLA)  provides the applicable state law regarding manufacturers’ responsibilities and liability. The LPLA applies when a consumer uses a product in a way that is reasonably expected and something about the product makes it unreasonably dangerous when used in the manner intended. This Act recognizes four instances where you can hold a manufacturer liable for injuries which are caused by their product; if there is a defect in design, construction or composition (manufacturing), because of a failure to adequately warn, or because it does not conform to an express warranty of the manufacturer. Additionally, product liability lawsuits are not limited to any one kind of product. That means this act covers childrens toys, household cleaners, auto parts, medical devices, medicinal drugs, and more. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product or a product improperly labeled an experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine the right parties to bring your claim against and get compensation for your injuries. 

Product Liability Lawsuits

Defective product cases are one of the most common types of personal injury lawsuits. If a product was defective for you it was likely defective for many other people. This means that product liability lawsuits can involve quite a large group of victims and can be costly for manufacturers. This usually results in settlements for those that bring claims against these manufacturers. Some major product liability lawsuits include: 

  • Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits 
  • General Motors Lawsuits
  • Monsanto Roundup Lawsuits 
  • Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuits

Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits

Transvaginal mesh is a net-like medical implant that was commonly used to treat stress incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. This can lead some patients to develop symptoms such as vaginal scarring, fistula formation, and debilitating pain. In 2012, claimants in these cases were able to recover about $1.5 billion all together because manufacturers failed to properly test the device. 

General Motors Lawsuits

In 2014, General Motors (GM) had issues with their ignition switches. Faulty ignition switches have caused GM to recall about 2.6 million vehicles in total. The faulty ignition switches would cause cars to shut off while in motion, which would prevent the airbags from inflating if a crash resulted. GM was accused of knowing about the issue about a decade before issuing the first recall. GM had to pay $870 million to settle death and injury claims and $900 million in a settlement with the Department of Justice. Additionally, in 1985, GM was held liable for a group of burn victims injuries due to a defective fuel system in its vehicle, and had to pay out almost $5 million.

Monsanto Roundup Lawsuits 

In 2015, the International Agency for Research (IARC) found a link between Roundup and cancer. Claimants allege that using roundup caused them to develop cancer and that the manufacturer knew about Roundup’s cancer-causing side effects. The Monsantos Papers have proven that the company knew of the risk related to use of the product, and Monsanto has paid out billions in settlements. Bayer now owns Monsanto and has agreed to pay an additional $10.9 billion in Roundup settlements.

Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuits 

Since 2018, Johnson and Johnson has been the target of many lawsuits over their talcum powder products. This is because the company is alleged to have known that their talcum products were contaminated with asbestos, a carcinogenic mineral, but failed to warn its consumers. Successful lawsuits have been brought claiming that the products caused ovarian cancer or mesothelioma. The litigation against Johnson and Johnson is still ongoing and growing. In June 2020, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $2.1 billion to women who claimed the company’s products caused them to develop ovarian cancer.

Do You Have a Product Liability Injury Claim?

Product liability lawsuits do not have to involve a large group of people to be successful. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, you can file a lawsuit in civil court to recover your damages for those injuries. The manufacturer or any other party in the supply chain may be held liable for the harm a product caused you or your loved one. Defendants in product liability lawsuits can be forced to pay monetary damages for harm the victim may have endured (or will endure). These damages include: 

  • medical expenses
  • lost wages (past and future)
  • pain and suffering
  • and more

Oftentimes, the evidence of a defective product is the injury itself. However, sometimes more proof is required to establish a connection between your injury and the defective product. Therefore, it is best to contact a personal injury attorney after the accident to see what other evidence you may need to provide and to determine what type of product defect may have caused your injury. An experienced attorney will also help you bring your lawsuit against the appropriate party/ies.

Speak With Us Today

If you or a family member was injured by a defective product, you should immediately contact our New Orleans product liability lawyer who is experienced in handling these types of cases.  Product liability is complicated, and you need a New Orleans product liability lawyer you trust to help you navigate your case. Contact Cueria Law Firm L.L.C. today.

If you or a loved one were injured in a truck crash, we urge you to contact our New Orleans truck accident attorneys today at (504) 525-5211. Don’t delay so that we can begin collecting evidence and building a strong case against the negligent party.

Kevin B.

“Mr. Brent Cueria does an amazing job! He was always available for any questions or concerns that I had. There was never a moment that he wouldn’t take the time to help me out and keep me updated on the process of my case! A great attorney and an amazing guy!”

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