Examples of Illinois Product Liability Lawsuits
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Manufacturers and sellers have a responsibility to the general public to compensate any person injured by defective merchandise. Generally, manufacturers are either held strictly liable or must be found negligent for any product defects that are unreasonably dangerous, which means that no matter how careful they were in preventing and checking for defects, they are still liable to you if you're injured.
Retailers, on the other hand, are usually not held to strict liability; instead, you must show that a retailer was negligent for releasing into the stream of commerce a product that was unreasonably dangerous for its intended use.
You can show defects in several different ways. A product can have a design defect (i.e., it was designed poorly), and you will have to show that the manufacturer knew about the defect in design and did nothing about it (negligence). Cars are the most common example of this category; several decades ago, Pintos were notoriously designed too small so that when they crashed, they would burst into flames, and the manufacturer knew about this but did nothing.
Alternatively, a product can have a manufacturing defect (i.e., its design was fine, but during manufacture a defect occurred), and you will usually only have to show that the product defect existed and it harmed you (strict liability). A lawnmower with a poorly secured blade due to carelessness in manufacturing might injure you.
Lastly, a product may have no design or manufacturing defect, but it was unreasonably dangerous in some way and the manufacturer did not adequately warn you about the danger. This is why medicines and household cleaners are full of warning labels telling you not to do things like overdose on pills or drink detergents; companies are required to adequately warn you of dangers from their products.
“Defective” is a broad term that means any product that is unreasonably dangerous for its intended use. “Unreasonably” dangerous means that a product may be inherently dangerous, but its proper use may be reasonable. A knife or a gun would possibly be inherently dangerous products, but used properly, they are not necessarily unreasonably dangerous. A gun, however, with an exceptionally sensitive trigger compared to similar guns, or with a broken safety lock feature, would probably be deemed defective because it is unreasonably dangerous.
If you are harmed by an unsafe product, you may be able to successfully sue the manufacturer, the wholesaler, the retailer, or the maker of a component part of the product.
Some examples of defective products include:
- Air bags that fail to deploy, injuring the driver or passenger.
- Faulty crib design leads to baby injury or death.
- Faulty car design causes car or SUV to roll over, to crash particularly easily as compared to similar vehicles, or to catch on fire particularly easily, injuring or killing occupants.
- Defective medical device surgically implanted causing an injury.
- Exposure to dangerous chemicals, such as Benzene, harming users.
- Defective lawnmowers, chainsaws, or any similar blades injuring someone.
- Poor quality foods from grocery stores and fast food chains causing illness.
- Defective baby strollers and feeding bottles harming babies.
- Faulty children's toys, bicycles, swings, or playhouses causing injuries to children.
- Defective prescriptions or over-the-counter medicines causing illness or death.
If you or any of your family members have experienced injuries due to any defective product, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your options. If you would like to be pointed in the right direction or have general questions please contact us at (800) 517-1614 and one of our staff attorneys will guide you.