The LeBlanc Law Firm
DALLAS DEFECTIVE PRODUCT ATTORNEY
Product liability describes the area of law that attempts to recover loss caused by a
defective product. Where a product causes unexpected injury to the consumer, the
law protects the consumer by holding the party that caused the defect responsible for
the injury. The responsible party may be the designer, the manufacturer, the
distributor or the seller of the product, or a combination thereof. Determining who is
responsible requires an understanding of how the product was designed, created,
manufactured and distributed so that you can determine where along this chain of
responsibility the defect occurred. Our firm has a Dallas product liability lawyer who
understands defective product injuries.
In a products liability case, the plaintiff usually must prove that the product was
defective. A defect is an imperfection that renders a product unsafe for its intended or
reasonably foreseeable uses. There are three general kinds of defects: design defects,
manufacturing defects, and warning defects.
Design Defect – A product has a design defect if the design (or blueprints) of the
product is unsafe.
Manufacturing Defect – A product has a manufacturing defect if the product's design
is sound but the method of making the product is unsafe.
Warning Defect – If a product does not have sufficient instructions or warnings about
its use, and you are injured as a result, the product has a warning defect.
Design defects exist when a whole class of products is inadequately planned, such
that it poses unreasonable risks to consumers. A car manufacturer's design of a
vehicle with the fuel tank positioned so that it explodes in low-speed collisions can be
classified as defective. When the design is defective, even products perfectly
manufactured are defective. A production or manufacturing defect, on the other hand,
arises when a sound design plan is not followed and the product is improperly
Sometimes, something other than the product itself is defective. Improper labeling,
instructions, or warnings on a product can also make the product defective.
Dangerous products must carry warning labels that explain their proper use, the
circumstances that are likely to cause harm, and what steps should be taken in an
emergency involving the product Proper labeling requirements also apply to claims
made in sales materials, product displays, and advertising. If these requirements are
not met and a consumer is injured, a products liability suit can enable the consumer to
recover the resulting damages.
The plaintiff in a products liability case must prove that the product was defective
when it left the defendant's hands and that the defect proximately caused the injury. A
defect has been said to be a proximate cause of an injury if the injury was a direct,
natural, or probable result of the defect's existence. The issue of causation in a
products liability case can be complicated, especially if the defect in the product
involved was an indirect or remote cause, or only one of a number of potential causes.
The determination of whether the defendant's negligence or breach of warranty
proximately caused the plaintiff's injuries is very much dependent on the facts of the
In a products liability negligence claim, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant did
not exercise the proper degree of care when manufacturing or otherwise providing the
product to the consumer. Everyone in the chain of distribution must exercise
reasonable care, including the designer, the manufacturer, and the seller. The duty is
owed to anyone who is likely to be injured by the product if it is defective, including
the initial purchaser, his or her family members, bystanders, and persons who lease
the product or hold it for the purchaser.
The duty of care includes the duty to make adequate inspections during product
manufacture, the duty to use proper packaging, and the duty to issue adequate
instructions and warnings. If any of these duties is breached and someone is injured,
the consumer or other injured party can bring a claim based on negligence.
In a strict liability case, on the other hand, the plaintiff need not prove any violation of
the standard of care. Under this theory, the defendant is responsible for any defects in
its products that threaten the safety of a consumer's person or property, even if it
exercised care in handling the product and even if the plaintiff had no direct dealings
with the defendant, such as when the consumer bought the product from someone
other than the defendant. Strict liability applies when the defendant is engaged in the
business of selling the product that caused the injury, and the product is expected to
and does reach the consumer without a substantial change in the condition in which it
PRODUCT LIABILITY WARRANTIES
Warranties are express or implied representations of fact that the law will enforce
against the person who made them. Products liability law is concerned with three
types of warranties relating to a product's quality or fitness for use: express
warranties, the implied warranty of merchantability, and the implied warranty of
fitness for a particular purpose. These warranties are part of the Uniform Commercial
Code (UCC), which every state has adopted.
An express warranty is created in one of three ways: through an affirmation of fact
about the goods made by the supplier of the goods to the purchaser, which becomes a
part of the basis of the bargain; through a description of the goods that becomes a part
of the basis of the bargain; or through a sample or model that is made part of the basis
of the bargain. An express warranty can be words spoken during sale negotiations, or
it may be written into the sales contract or on tags attached to the product or a
sample. The express warranty may have been part of an earlier purchase of the same
product, or it may arise from product publicity. Mere sales "fluff," however, such as
"This is the greatest product you'll ever buy," does not create an express warranty.
Implied warranties are created and imposed by law and they accompany the transfer
of title to goods unless they are expressly and clearly limited or excluded by the
contract. The UCC states that contractual limitations on liability for personal injury,
however, are unconscionable and therefore will not be enforced.
The implied warranty of merchantability requires that products and their containers
meet certain minimum quality standards, primarily that they be fit for the ordinary
purposes for which they are sold. This warranty includes a reasonable standard of
safety. The implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose imposes similar
requirements when the seller knows or has reason to know of the particular purpose
for which the goods are required. If the seller recommends a particular product to
meet the buyer's specific needs, it warrants that the product is fit for those purposes.
An action for the breach of one of these warranties is like a strict liability claim, in that
no negligence or other fault needs to be shown. There are some limitations, however.
For instance, the seller must receive prompt notice of the breach as a condition to
imposing liability, and the buyer must have relied on the warranty.
PRODUCT LIABILITY WARNINGS
A manufacturer has the duty to make its products as safe as possible. When it cannot
eliminate all risks, it must warn users and buyers of the dangers that exist. If it fails to
provide adequate warnings, the person injured because of that failure may have a
product liability claim based on failure to warn.
Warnings must be provided for any dangers likely to arise when the product is being
used normally or in a way that could reasonably be anticipated, even it if is not a
purpose for which the product was sold. A consumer who clearly misuses a product,
however, cannot recover under a failure-to-warn theory or any other products liability
theory. Also, warnings are usually not required for a product's very obvious dangers.
Certain products, like prescription drugs, present unavoidable dangers. The duty to
warn consumers about unavoidable dangers presents special problems. Manufacturers
must provide warnings about possible side effects of such drugs, including allergic
reactions, but there may be no duty where unusually susceptible consumers are
The manufacturer's duty to warn continues even after the product is sold. As new
information becomes available, such as through consumer complaints or scientific
testing, the manufacturer or seller must update its warnings to purchasers, either
through direct contact or, if that is not possible, through mass media publication.
DAMAGES IN A TEXAS PRODUCT LIABILITY SUIT
Plaintiffs in products liability lawsuits are usually able to recover all foreseeable
damages. Foreseeable damages generally include economic losses, such as those for
repairs to damaged property, medical bills, and lost wages. Recoverable non-economic
damages include awards for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and punitive or
exemplary damages. Punitive damages are intended not to compensate the victim for
losses but to punish the defendant's conduct. Our firm has a Dallas product liability
lawyer that can assist you with your case.
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The LeBlanc Law Firm is located at 3102 Maple Avenue, Suite 450, Dallas, Texas. For directions,
We serve all areas of North Texas, including Dallas County, Tarrant County, Denton County, Collin
County including the cities of Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Irving, Grand Prairie, Garland, Mesquite,
Richardson, Plano, Frisco, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Lewisville, Hurst, Euless, Bedford, Grapevine,
Coppell, Colleyville, Duncanville, DeSoto, Cedar Hill, Lancaster and Rockwall. We also accept cases
throughout the State of Texas including Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Tyler, El Paso, Waco,
Lubbock, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, Beaumont, Abilene, Wichita Falls, Laredo, Midland,
Odessa, Texarkana or any other city in Texas.
Examples of personal injury cases handled by The LeBlanc Law Firm: truck accident, automobile
accident, premises liability (slip and fall), medical negligence, nursing home negligence, dental
negligence, wrongful death, defective product, defective drug, false imprisonment, construction
accident, employment related injuries.
Please visit our other websites: General Practice and Business and Employment law sites.