Almost Perfect: Defenses Against Product Liability Lawsuits
As Christmas approaches, your children will likely already have created their own wish list for Santa to fulfill, not knowing that it is, in fact, you who’s been spreading the Christmas cheer year after year. After the cookies are gone, once morning comes, nothing is more exhilarating for a parent than seeing the joy on their children’s face once they open the presents you give them: the result of and culmination of your hard work throughout the year. Once they start enjoying their gifts selflessly obtained by you, nothing could possibly spoil the joyous day. That is, until, the toy you bought starts giving off spark and combusts, injuring your child leaving you driving them to the hospital on Christmas morning. This is a fate that no parent should have to face. Thanks to government regulations and oversight on most products sold, product defects are rare, but not entirely uncommon or impossible. One thing is for sure – when they cause injury, you are entitled to recovery of damages accrued. But that in itself will be a long road with the company that produced the product, as they will likely defend themselves in your accusation. That said, in a product defect, these are some defenses you and your personal injury lawyer, like one from Eric Roy Law Firm, might encounter:
The statute of limitations had expired. This is the amount of time from the date of injury that you have to start a case. The limitation is different from state to state, so you should open a case with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
The plaintiff assumed the risk: If a football player gets injured in a game of football, he can’t sue the NFL because he knows there’s a risk of injury before playing in the game. In your mind you’ll probably be thinking, your kid is a child. How could they possibly know what risk is? Then if that was the case, then the blame would fall upon you for exposing them to the risk. Which is exactly why this is an incredibly effective defense if conveyed properly.
The plaintiff was negligent too: personal injury cases examine comparative and contributory fault and depending on what rule the state recognizes. A defendant can reduce their liability and responsibility to compensate you for damages partially or completely. The idea is that if your child in some way misused the product in a way that it wasn’t intended (like playing with an electronic near or in water) then the company isn’t liable for the damage their product caused.