Product liability claims generally arise when a consumer is harmed by a defective product. Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 82.001(2) states that a products liability action is defined as “any action against a manufacturer or seller for recovery of damages arising out of personal injury, death, or property damage allegedly caused by a defective product whether the action is based in strict tort liability, strict products liability, negligence, misrepresentation, breach of express or implied warranty, or any other theory or combination of theories.”
Most product liability claims involve one of three types of defects, and each one of these kinds of defects involves satisfying certain court requirements. Some defective product claims become mass torts when multiple people have purchased the same product and the underlying issue is a manufacturing defect that applies to all of the products rather than an isolated one.
Attorneys for Product Liability Injuries in Houston, TX
Did you suffer serious injuries or was your loved one killed by a dangerous or defective product in Southeast Texas? Do not accept a settlement offer from an insurance company without first contacting The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC.
Our Houston personal injury lawyers represent clients in the greater Harris County area including Pearland, Baytown, Seabrook, La Porte, Pasadena, Galena Park, Friendswood and many others. Call (832) 530-4070 right now to have our attorneys review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free initial consultation.
Harris County Product Liability Accidents Information Center
- Types of Product Liability in Texas
- Types of Goods Involved in Harris County Product Liability Claims
- Product Liability Resources in Harris County
Types of Product Liability in Texas
The first theory of product liability that comes to mind for most people is based on the warranty of the product. There are express warranties, that the manufacturer explicitly states when a person buys a product. There are also implied warranties for all products, notably that the product you are buying is safe to use for the purpose it was intended for. Additionally, there are three main types of product liability claims in Texas. These three types can be used separately or combined together or combined with breach of warranty claims when filing a product liability lawsuit. The three types of product liability claims are:
Design defects, usually involve a product that was designed improperly causing the product to fail and cause injuries. Any claimant alleging a design defect will be required to prove by a preponderance of the evidence (the greater weight of the evidence, or more than 50 percent) that:
- There was a safer alternative design; and
- The defect was a producing cause of the personal injury, property damage, or death for which the claimant seeks recovery.
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 82.005(b) defines the phrase “safer alternative design” as meaning a product design other than the one actually used that in reasonable probability:
- Would have prevented or significantly reduced the risk of the claimant’s personal injury, property damage, or death without substantially impairing the product’s utility; and
- Was economically and technologically feasible at the time the product left the control of the manufacturer or seller by the application of existing or reasonably achievable scientific knowledge.
Design defects are more likely to become mass torts because the nature of the error places all possible consumers of the product at risk.
As the Texas Supreme Court noted in American Tobacco Co., Inc. v. Grinnell, 951 SW 2d 420 (Tex. 1997), a plaintiff has a manufacturing defect claim under Texas law “when a finished product deviates, in terms of its construction or quality, from the specifications or planned output in a manner that renders it unreasonably dangerous.” Unlike design defects that affect all products manufactured, a manufacturing defect may apply to a limited batch or possibly even single product.
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 82.001(4) defines a manufacturer as “a person who is a designer, formulator, constructor, rebuilder, fabricator, producer, compounder, processor, or assembler of any product or any component part thereof and who places the product or any component part thereof in the stream of commerce.”
When a person’s product liability claim is based on a marketing defect, the plaintiff is usually claiming that a manufacturer failed to provide adequate instructions or warnings about safe use of the product. These type of claims are often referred to as failure to warn cases. A product needs to provide an accurate warning about any possible side effects from its usage.
In drug cases, a plaintiff usually must show that the drug manufacturer knew of a side effect but failed to adequately warn the users of this potential side effect.
Types of Goods Involved in Harris County Product Liability Claims
Many of us use a wide variety of different products throughout the course of our daily lives without any second thoughts about possible dangers. When a person is injured by a dangerous or defective product, it is important for him or her to remain as calm as possible and take certain steps.
The first major step to take following an injury caused by a defective or dangerous product is to seek medical attention. Insurance companies for negligent parties will always use any delays in treatment to argue a victim’s injuries are not as serious as he or she claims.
It is also important for people to not throw away the dangerous or defective products. Try to keep the objects safely stored in locations that will prevent others from also being harmed, but also make sure to save all receipts relating to your purchase.
Anyone of a number of everyday products may have one of the defects listed above. Some of the most common kinds of items involved in product liability claims include, but are not limited to:
- Motor vehicle parts
- Recreational goods
- Medical devices
- Construction equipment
- Electrical equipment
- Children’s toys
- Household appliances
- Food or drink products
- Heavy machinery
- Toxic chemicals
Product Liability Resources in Harris County
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code | Chapter 82. Products Liability — View the full text of all Texas state laws relating to product liability. Learn more about the manufacturer’s duty to indemnify, the liability of nonmanufacturing sellers, and inherently unsafe products. You can also find information about firearms and ammunition, medicines, and compliance with government standards.
Texas Supreme Court Decisions in Product Liability Appeals — View a collection of recent Texas Supreme Court decisions in product liability cases. Most cases contain links to full court opinions. You can also view Court of Appeals cases in which the Texas Supreme Court declined review.
Product Liability Lawyers in Houston, TX
If you were seriously injured or your loved one was killed by a dangerous or defective product in Harris County, it is in your best interest to immediately seek legal representation. The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC helps residents and visitors in communities throughout Harris County, Friendswood, Pearland, Seabrook, League City, Deer Park, Pasadena, La Porte, Galena Park, Baytown and many others.
Our personal injury attorneys in Houston can fight to make sure that you get all of the compensation you are entitled to for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call (832) 530-4070 or submit an online contact form to have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.