Category Archives: Product Liability

Warning For Users Of The Phillips Mobile Cardiac Outpatient Telemetry.

Sometimes legal theories collide, and more than one theory applies to a set of facts.  This is true when a product combines with medical care to cause death or catastrophic injury. When this happens, there are both considerations for a medical malpractice theory and a product liability theory of recovery.  

Product Liability and Defects

Our firm has experience dealing with complex factual situations that may involve a combination of legal theories. Recently, we were hired by a family whose loved one died after being prescribed a mobile heart monitoring device known as Philips Mobile Cardiac Outpatient Telemetry.   

What Functions Do Mobile Telemetry Monitoring Devices Serve?

For many years, cardiac rhythm monitoring has been used by physicians, most notably cardiologists, to diagnose and treat patients. Traditionally, these were devices fitted to a patient and worn for anywhere between 24 hours and up to 30 days. During that time, the patient would keep a diary of any symptoms they experienced (date, time, description of activity, symptom). At the end of the prescribed duration of monitoring, the patient would submit the diary as a complement to the data that was collected by the device. A physician would then analyze the data side-by-side with the patient’s diary. In this instance, a final assessment would be made after the fact.

Interface Between The Telemetry Leads and Data Sent To The Central Hub

As mobile phone data and Bluetooth transmission capabilities became more commonplace—basic mobile phone plans nearly all carry such a feature—interactivity with many elements of daily life became commonplace. Home security systems, home appliances, electronics, and audiovisual systems, medication administration and monitoring, etc. This has expanded to medical devices such as mobile telemetry monitoring, but with a twist: a patient’s phone serves as the interface between the telemetry leads on the body and then sends that data to a central monitoring hub in real-time.

The Communication Path

The real-time telemetry monitoring is akin to what many understand occurs in a hospital setting in that an admitted patient has wires and stickers adhered to their chest wall, and in the event of an arrhythmia, cardiac pause, or asystole (absence of electrical activity), a technician in the hospital would recognize this and, following facility protocol, activate the emergency response team to assess and tend to the patient. And, like the patient in the diary above, a patient admitted to a hospital may just communicate their symptoms to a member of the care team, at which point a call would be made to the technician to query what the telemetry monitoring revealed at a given time. The obvious difference between the hospital setting and the mobile platform is that a patient with a mobile phone coupled with a cardiac monitoring device is not in a facility. However, the concept remains the same: abnormal heart rhythm is captured and transmitted, a technician recognizes such an abnormal rhythm, the technician communicates that to the prescribing provider, and the prescribing provider then contacts the patient or advises on the next best step.

Phillips Mobile Cardiac Outpatient Telemetry

 

 

 

What If You Have a Dysfunction?

The system works well if all the components are functional. If there is a dysfunctional link anywhere, then the system fails.

Types Of Failure:
1. One such component would be if the patient was out of mobile phone range (not near a mobile tower, no signal to their phone), then their cardiac data would be collected but not transmitted to the monitoring hub.

2. Another such dysfunctional link would be if a technician recognized an arrhythmia but did not follow through on notifying the prescribing physician.

Continue on with that same logic, and it makes sense that any missing component could be detrimental to the purpose of the study (which is why the physician prescribed this in the first place).

Real Time Component

One of the benefits of the newer mobile-based platforms is the real-time component. Physicians and other care providers are best able to intervene in the event of a concerning rhythm disturbance or malignant dysrhythmia.

Necessary Intervention

In a nutshell, the product is designed to function by monitoring the heart rate and rhythm of the patient, and it is programmed to notify the device company representative, who is supposed to then immediately notify the treating physician’s office so that they can intervene if need product Defect Leads to Death

It appears from the information that we have that either the device manufacturer failed to notify the physician’s office or the physician’s office failed to communicate with the patient.  Then we discovered that another patient died from a similar circumstance using a device manufactured by Philips Mobile Cardiac Outpatient Telemetry.  This means that at least two people in the Pensacola area have died while wearing this device that should have prevented them from doing so.

WATCH OUR YOUTUBE VIDEO ON THIS TOPIC, PRESENTED BY JOE ZARZAUR AND DR. EVAN MALONE >

 

If you or a loved one was wearing any cardiac monitoring device manufactured by Philips Mobile Cardiac Outpatient Telemetry and suffered a catastrophic injury or death related to their cardiac condition, you or your family should consider discussing the same with our firm.  You can find us at zarzaurlaw.com or call us at 855HireJoe.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been injured due the carelessness of another, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board-Certified Trial Lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe, or by requesting a free case review through our website.

Proving Strict Products Liability In Florida

Florida tort law provides that a manufacturer of a defective product may be subject to product liability under two basic theories.

First, strict liability, and second, negligence.

In order to win under either theory, the plaintiff must establish that the product was defective or unreasonably dangerous. 

Under a negligence theory, proof of a defect determines a breach of the duty, and the mere presence of a defective condition proves your case under strict liability.

 

What Is The Florida Product Liability Statute?

According to Florida 2021 Statutes 768.81(1)(d), “products liability action means a civil action based upon a theory of strict liability, negligence, breach of warranty, nuisance, or similar theories for damages caused by the manufacture, construction, design, formulation, installation, preparation, or assembly of a product.”

Proving A Claim Under Strict Liability

So, pursuing a manufacturer of a product is easier on the plaintiff if they can prove a claim under strict liability since the plaintiff is not required to provide a duty and a breach of the duty. The basis of strict liability laws is that the State of Florida realizes that a consumer will not have access to private corporate manufacturing information before a lawsuit is filed and will have a difficult time establishing negligence. However, with the product itself, the injured party has the ability to examine the product and determine whether it is defective or not.

Strict Liability Theories

Strict liability theories are generally distinct from negligence as they remove the burden from the injured party to prove specific acts of negligence. Even though the term “strict liability” indicates some “automatic” or absolute liability for any use of its product, the manufacturer of a product is only responsible for injuries caused when the product is being used as it was intended.

Hence, in order for strict liability to apply to a manufacturer, the product must have been used for the purpose for which it was intended.

For example, a power drill that causes an injury cannot be said to be subject to strict liability if the injury occurred while using the drill as a weapon or as a blender in the kitchen. Those uses are different from the intended use of a drill, like screwing in fasteners or drilling holes for carpentry work.

Defective Airbag Example: 

What If the Airbags Didn’t Work During My Car Accident?

Strict Products LiabilityA typical car accident case is pretty straightforward: one driver is speeding, running a red light, or doing something else to cause a crash, and any person injured in the accident sues that driver or makes a claim with that driver’s car insurance company. But sometimes, these cases can get a little more complicated, and they become something more, something bigger, than a car accident case. One such instance is when an airbag does not deploy properly during a car accident, resulting in injuries that are more severe than they might have been if the airbag had done its job. The injured person may now have a product liability case on top of an insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

Proving Strict Liability

Since any product can be misused, a manufacturer cannot be held responsible and liable for every possible creative misuse that a consumer can conceive. Product liability does not make the manufacturer an insurer of all foreseeable accidents that involve its product. In order to have a successful product liability claim, the product must be defective in its design, manufacture, or lack adequate warnings. Further, any one of these items must render the product unreasonable, dangerous, or defective, and then the use that caused the injury must be an intended use.

Consumer Expectation Test

Strict Liability focuses on the reasonable expectations of the consumer. The test for design defects is called a “consumer expectation test” and makes a product defective if the plaintiff is able to demonstrate that the product did not perform as safely as an ordinary consumer would expect when used in the intended fashion or in a reasonably foreseeable manner.

Design And Manufacturer Defects

Strict liability claims based upon manufacturing defects are all about whether the product was made in a way that is not consistent with its design. In other words, there was an error in the manufacturing process and quality control process that allowed for a product that was not made pursuant to the design specifications, and this defect made the product defective in its ordinary usage.

Inadequate Warnings

Products Liability In FloridaStrict liability claims based upon inadequate warnings are premised on a failure of the company to warn. Florida courts have recognized that a warning should contain some wording directed to the significant dangers arising from the failure to use the product in the prescribed manner, such as the risk of serious injury or death. 

A product is considered defective from a warning standpoint in Florida when the foreseeable risks of harm posed by the product could have been reduced or avoided by the provision of reasonable instructions or warnings and their omission renders the product not reasonably safe.

Proving The Four Elements

On the negligence theory of products liability cases, the injured party must prove four elements. First, the manufacturer must be under a duty that requires them to protect others from unreasonable risks. Second, the plaintiff must prove that this duty was breached by the company. Third, there must be legal causation between the breach and the injury; and finally, the injured party must have injury or loss.

Statute Of Limitations

The Florida statute of limitations for product liability extends four years from the date injury the injury occurred. If the defect and accident results in a wrongful death claim, that statute is shortened to two years.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a product and you seek out answers related to whether a claim of products liability can be brought and won, you can reach out to our firm for a free consultation at zarzaurlaw.com or 855HireJoe.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a product and you seek out answers related to whether a claim of products liability can be brought and won, you can reach out to our firm for a free consultation. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe, or by requesting a free case review through our website.

Offices in Pensacola, Destin, Miami, and Tallahassee.

Sources:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/products_liability

Keywords

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/damages

https://www.lawyers.com/legal-info/personal-injury/types-of-personal-injury-claims/what-if-the-airbags-didnt-work-during-my-car-accident.html

Boppy Newborn Lounger Recall Alert!

Newborn Loungers Recall AlertAs you may know, on September 21st, 2021, The Boppy Company recalled over 3.3 million of their “Boppy Newborn Loungers” after eight reported infant deaths. These products pose a significant threat to infants, as the design itself creates an asphyxiation hazard. Specifically, asphyxiation caused by the position of the baby’s neck against the Boppy Newborn Lounger.

What Exactly is a Boppy Newborn Lounger?

The Boppy Newborn Lounger was placed on the market in January of 2004, and was designed for infants to “lounge” on. Many parents are familiar with the original Boppy nursing pillow, a product originally placed on the market to assist nursing mothers. What separates the two products is their intended use, with the Newborn Lounger designed for “lounging” purposes rather than as a nursing aid.

The Boppy Newborn Lounger was removed from the market in September/August of 2021. At that time, it was one of the leading products sold by the Boppy Company. The product had been called into question about a year prior by a journalist who noted that there were several deaths that were being associated with the pillow.

The Boppy Newborn Lounger is different from the original Boppy Pillow in that the original design was specifically designed and sold as a nursing aid. This nursing pillow has been used by many mothers to assist in the breastfeeding process. The company designed this Boppy Newborn Lounger by basically using the general pillow design and adding a piece of fabric to the center, and then encouraging it to be used as a baby lounging device.

Lounging Danger

But, if you have an infant, you know that they do not lounge. Infants spend the vast majority of their time sleeping, which is what makes this product so dangerous. In the event that an infant falls asleep on one of these loungers or is left unattended for too long, parents run the risk of suffocating their babies to death. Due to the shape and design of this particular product, it is far too easy for an infant to find itself in a position that blocks its airways.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission, between December of 2015 and June 2020, eight infants died after being placed on the lounger while lying on their back, side, or stomach. Meaning, if the child is not placed perfectly inside of this product, parents run the risk of their baby suffocating.


If the child is not placed perfectly inside of this product, parents run the risk of their baby suffocating.


Previous Recalls

To make matters even worse, this is not the first product manufactured by the Boppy Company that has created such a potential for infant suffocation. In July of 2019, The Boppy Company again had to recall one of its products, this time the Infant Head and Neck Support Accessories. This particular product, shown below, features a similar design and, unfortunately, the same risk. Due to the head support area’s allowing for infants’ heads to become tilted too far forward, this product again posed a suffocation hazard.

Zarzaur Law has filed the first case in the United States against the Boppy Company. The allegations in the Boppy Lawsuit include allegations that the Boppy Newborn Lounger was defective by its design, manufacture, and inadequacy of warnings. The Boppy company is defending this lawsuit and is first contending that they are not subject to the personal jurisdiction of the court here in Florida. This particular issue is before the Court currently.

Review previous recall articles below:

https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2019/The-Boppy-Company-Recalls-Infant-Head-and-Neck-Support-Accessories-Due-to-Suffocation-Hazard#

https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2021/The-Boppy-Company-Recalls-Over-3-Million-Original-Newborn-Loungers-Boppy-Preferred-Newborn-Loungers-and-Pottery-Barn-Kids-Boppy-Newborn-Loungers-After-8-Infant-Deaths-Suffocation-Risk

https://www.npr.org/2021/09/23/1040203150/boppy-recall-infant-baby-deaths-suffocation-risk-sleep

 

WATCH OUR YOUTUBE VIDEO HERE >

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you or a loved one is in need of a FREE legal consultation in regards to your wrongful death case, speak with Zarzaur Law’s Florida Wrongful Death Act experts. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

Are Onewheels Safe?

Onewheels is a Fun RideIf you are like us and spend any time in Downtown Pensacola, you have probably seen the hottest new method of getting around town—a motorized, skateboard-like object that has one wide, treaded tire in the middle of the board instead of four smaller ones.

At first blush, “Onewheels” as they are appropriately known, look like a fun, exhilarating ride for those looking for a cross between a skateboard and a dirt bike. Unlike those vehicles, Onewheels promises that “anyone” can ride one “with little instruction and practice” because it is “packed with technology that actively helps to keep you balanced.”

However, injury lawsuits have followed the Onewheels around since it began to be manufactured in 2015. Specifically, many people have filed claims in the six years since the Onewheel hit the market based on allegations that the machine abruptly stops while underway.


When the motor stops, the machine pitches forward and dumps the rider out onto the ground, causing bone fractures, concussions, and other injuries.


Why You Can’t Anticipate A Fall From A Onewheel

While some may look at these accidents as like the accidents that can happen on a bike or a skateboard or surfboard, the common thread in all the claims is that while a person can usually anticipate a fall from a skateboard or similar, man-powered device, a person cannot anticipate an abrupt motor failure. Even some of the world’s most talented and famous surfers and skaters have experienced serious injuries while using Onewheels—which should certainly make the rest of us pause before we rent or buy one.

If you or a loved ones experience an injury during a Onewheels ride, it may not be your fault. At least three wrongful death lawsuits have been filed against Onewheels stemming from accidents involving the abrupt stoppage defect—one each in Texas, California, and New York.

Product Liability

In many product liability circumstances, the law imposes “strict liability” on the maker of a product for injuries caused by a defect. This means that a manufacturer of a product can be liable for injuries caused by a product defect even in the absence of negligence. If negligence exists, a plaintiff can make claims for negligent design and/or negligent manufacture in addition to the strict liability claims.

Risk of Concussion… or Worse

If a Onewheel accident were to cause the rider to hit the ground headfirst, it may put them at risk of concussions and traumatic brain injuries, or they may land hard enough on their forward-leaning hand or arm to fracture bones.

Protective gear is your last line of defense against the harsh and unforgiving nature of a hard surface. Falling from any electric skateboard is painful, but falling from a Onewheel really sucks.

Onewheel are balanced on a single wheel, therefore, it is much easier to be thrown from the board. The One wheels are also very mobile and nibble, making deep carves a thing of ease. Of course, this is what makes them so much fun to ride, however, this nimbleness also makes it super easy to come unstuck.

It’s easy to catch an edge of the Onewheel’s deck, carve to hard or overcompensate on a turn, become undone on a small bump or crack, or overbalance and be thrown with momentum off the board’s deck.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to put on some gloves, a helmet, and protective clothing or at least thick pants and a durable jacket to protect you whenever you are riding just in case an accident does occur.


ONEWHEEL SAFETY TIPS:

  1. Wear your safety gear whenever heading out for a ride.
  2. Start with beginner mode
  3. Stick to beginner modes like Mission or Delirium if you are new to riding Onewheel.
  4. Avoid maxing out a modes top speed. Try to stick to 3-5 miles per hour below the max.
  5. Keep your weight centered over the wheel and don’t lean too far forward and risk nosedive. 
  6. Also, make sure not to accelerate too hard while going uphill, riding into a strong wind, or while traveling over bumps or cracks.
  7. And lastly, be vigilant of your Onewheel’s battery level. Check it regularly on the Onewheel app.

If you are injured in an accident involving a Onewheels or any other similar device, it is important to contact an experienced product liability lawyer as fast as possible. The Florida Bar does not typically allow lawyers to hold themselves out as “experts” in a particular field. However, the Bar does allow lawyers who work on personal injury cases to become specialists in civil trial. Only one percent of Florida lawyers have this certification. Two out of three of the lawyers on staff at Zarzaur Law, P.A. are specialists in civil trial.

So, when potential clients ask us about whether or when to hire a lawyer after an accident, we remind them that only a board-certified civil trial lawyer is a specialist in this area of the law. Since all injury lawyers have the same “no fee no cost unless you win” payout structure, there is no reason to hire someone who is not a specialist.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been the victim of an accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe, or by requesting a free case review through our website.

Sources:

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/onewheel-skateboard-injury-lawsuit-7316679/

https://oneradwheel.com/severe-trauma-from-onewheel-to-er-to-icu-lessons-learned/

https://thetechleaders.com/the-burning-question-are-onewheel-boards-safe/

https://apnews.com/press-release/pr-newswire/business-health-b908e4a5ca916b6441aaa59c7713270b

Product Liability in Florida

 

Florida consumers are injured by a product every day. These may be prescription drugs, household appliances, construction equipment, or automobile components. These injuries may be severe or result in death. Florida law may provide a legal remedy for those injured by a defective product in certain circumstances.


Research From The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Indicates That Defective Or Unsafe Products Cause 29.4 Million Injuries And 21,400 Deaths Each Year.

Negligence V Strict Liability

In most personal injury cases the injured party must prove the product manufacturer or distributor was negligent, and that the negligence caused the injury. Negligence is failure to act reasonably. When concerning a product, this may include failure to reasonably design, manufacture, or warn about a product. The breach of duty may be a failure to design a safe product, negligently manufacturing the product, failure to inspect a product for a dangerous condition, failure to adequately test the product or product design, and failure to warn of the dangers of the product.

Also, and more broadly, a manufacturer or distributor, or retailer of a product may be liable under the theory of “Strict Liability.” In such situations, the defendants may be liable for injuries even if they exercised reasonable care. It must be proven that a defect was present in the product at the time the defendant parted possession and that the defect caused the injury.

To recover under a strict liability claim, the plaintiff does not have to prove improper design, manufacture, testing, or warning. The plaintiff must prove only that the product was defective and unreasonably dangerous. Often all the injured party has to prove is that the product did not perform as expected and caused an injury. This puts the focus on the product, as opposed to the manufacturer or seller.

Though The Range Of Defective Product Cases Is Broad, The Claims Typically Fall Into Three Categories Of Product Liability:

(1) Defective manufacture

(2) Defective design

(3) Failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions concerning the proper use of the product.

Who Can Be Sued For A Defective Product?

Manufacturers, distributors, retailers, suppliers and any other entity involved in the chain of distribution of a product may be liable for injuries caused by the product. This is important because manufacturers may be foreign companies and unavailable to sue or judgment proof. Since retailers are in the chain or product distribution, they are an important part of the overall production and marketing enterprise. Thus, they may bear the cost of injuries resulting from defective products they sell.

Similarly, wholesalers and distributors may also be liable for such injuries. A franchisor or licensor of a product may also be liable. This liability results from the intent of the courts to provide a remedy to an innocent person injured by a product.

A manufacturer of a component part of a defective product may also be sued for injuries.

Defenses And Statute Of Limitations

There are numerous legal defenses to a product liability case. These can include comparative negligence or the injured party, and modification or abuse of the product. There are various statutes of limitations or statutes of repose that may bar a claim if too much time passes between the manufacture, sale, and the lawsuit. These are very complex areas of the law and may be governed by different laws in different states. It is necessary that these issues be reviewed by an experienced trial lawyer who has handled these issues with success.

Proving A Product Was Defective

It is often not enough to show that an injury resulted from the use of a product. These cases require stringent proof and often require numerous experts to evaluate the product and later testify if necessary. Again, this requires the expertise of an experienced and qualified trial lawyer.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been the victim of an accident due to a defective product, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

Sources:

https://www.cpsc.gov/Research–Statistics

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/types-of-defective-product-liability-30070.html

Pensacola Personal Injury Lawyers – Car Accident, Wrongful Death, Malpractice

What is “Strict Liability” in a Florida Product Liability Case?

Florida consumers are injured by faulty products every day. These products may be prescription drugs, household appliances, or construction equipment. Injuries are often severe and can result in death. When evaluating a case involving a product, the basis of fault must be considered by a Florida personal injury lawyer.

 

Negligence

In most personal injury cases, the plaintiff must prove the defendant was negligent and that the negligence caused the injury. The elements for a claim of negligence are a duty of care owed by the defendant to the injured party; a breach or violation of that duty by the defendant; injury caused by the breach and damages. Generally, there must be a relationship between the injured party and the defendant or a general duty to the public that is breached by the defendant (e.g.- careless driving that causes a crash).

In a product liability case, the breach of duty is likely to be a failure to design a safe product, failure to manufacture a safe product (a manufacturing error), failure to inspect a product for a dangerous condition or failure to test or adequately test the product. Failure to warn is also an important aspect in proving negligence.

 

Strict Liability

Florida adopted strict liability for products cases in the case of West v Caterpillar in 1976. Under this theory, the manufacturer or seller of a defective product can be liable even if its exercised all possible care. To recover under this theory, it must be proven that a defect was present in the product at the time the defendant parted possession and the defect caused the injury.

To recover the plaintiff does not have to prove the manufacturer dangerously designed, manufactured, tested, marketed, or warned about the product. The plaintiff simply must prove it was defective and unreasonably dangerous. This theory focuses more on the product than the actions of the manufacturer or seller. Often all the injured party has to prove is that the product did not perform as expected and caused an injury.

In such cases, the plaintiff will sue under allegations of negligence and strict products liability. Both theories have defenses that must be evaluated by an experienced trial lawyer.

 

The Role of the Trial Lawyer

In all product cases, there are complicated factual and legal issues. Often both parties will need to hire multiple experts to explain the problems of the product, and why it caused the injury:

  • The standards for expert testimony are complicated and often change, so the trial lawyer should be familiar with the laws of evidence.
  • The defendant manufacturer may be located out of state and even out of the country. This can present complicated jurisdictional and other legal issues that must be evaluated.
  • Choice of laws issues may affect recovery.
  • Finally, the statute of limitations may be affected by where the injury occurred. Normally, in product cases, the statute of limitations begins to run when it is known or should be known when the product caused the injury. Often that is not apparent. However, there is a “statute of repose” that cuts off claims after a certain date even if the injured party did not find out the cause until much later.

As you can see product cases required much complicated legal analysis. Simply alleging “strict liability” is not enough in most cases. You need an expert civil trial lawyer to evaluate and handle your claim.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been the victim of a faulty product, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

 

Sources:

https://law.justia.com/cases/florida/supreme-court/1976/46709-0.html

https://zarzaurlaw.com/product-liability/

https://corporate.findlaw.com/litigation-disputes/summary-of-the-rules-of-evidence.html

RECALL: Kidde Nighthawk Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Pensacola Product Liability LawyerPensacola Product Liability: Recall Alert

The Kidde NightHawk combination smoke/carbon monoxide alarms are being recalled because the alarm can fail to continue to chirp when it reaches its seven-year end of life if the batteries are replaced, leading consumers to believe it is still working, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The company is recalling 3.6 million Kidde NightHawk talking combo smoke/CO alarms in the U.S. and another 1.5 million in Canada. Alarms with the model number KN-COSM-IB and manufacture dates between June 1, 2004 and Dec. 31, 2010 come under the recall.

The alarms are hard-wired into a home’s electric power. The unit has a compartment on the back for the installation of a replaceable 9V backup battery.

The alarm is white, round and measures about 5 to 6 inches in diameter. “Kidde” is engraved on the front of the alarm. “Kidde,” the model number and manufacture dates are printed on a label on the back on the alarm.

The alarms were sold at electrical distributors and home centers nationwide and online on Amazon.com from June 2004 through December 2010 for between $40 and $65.

Kidde has received eight reports of incidents with the recalled alarms. No injuries have been reported.

Who is responsible for smoke detector failure?

Pensacola Product Liability LawyerSmoke detectors are invaluable in saving lives. It is estimated that three-fifths of all deaths from home fires occurred in homes without smoke detectors. But what happens when a smoke detector fails to alert residents of the presence of smoke? Who is responsible for smoke detector failure?

 

To prove a Pensacola product liability claim against a smoke detector manufacturer, the plaintiff is required to show:

  • That The Smoke Detector Was A Defective Product;
  • That The Defective Product Created An Unreasonably Dangerous Risk That Was Not Outweighed By The Benefits Of The Product;
  • And That The Defective Nature Of The Product Was The Cause Of The Plaintiff’s Injuries Or Damages.

The actions of the plaintiffs in maintaining the smoke detectors and in responding to the alarms can provide a defense for smoke detector manufacturers in Pensacola product liability actions.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled alarms and call Kidde directly at 855-239-0490 for a free replacement alarm, or a discount on a new alarm. Kidde toll-free at 855-239-0490 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or online at www.kidde.com and click on “Product Safety Notice” for more information.

Securing Compensation for Victims of Defective Products

Zarzaur Law acts promptly in defective product cases to maximize the chance of fair recovery for our clients’ Pensacola product liability claims. We first secure the product itself for examination by experts. We consult with the most qualified engineers, mechanics, and other experts to research the design and manufacturing process. Our Pensacola product liability lawyers also investigate any history of similar defective product claims against the company and the manufacturers’ response to concerns about product safety.

We invest a lot of time and money in defective product cases to ensure that our clients get full compensation from manufacturers of unsafe products.

For more information, visit our Pensacola product liability page.

Pensacola Product Liability: Ikea Recalls 29 Million Dressers and Chests

Pensacola Personal Injury LawyerAt least six children have been crushed to death by toppling Ikea chests, prompting the voluntary recall of about 29 million chests and dressers sold by the popular retailer, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says. Pensacola product Liability Lawyer, Joe Zarzaur explains the products recalled include dressers from Ikea’s lower-cost Malm line, which has been plagued with consumer reports regarding injuries and deaths.

Ikea and the CPSC told ABC that at least 36 children have been injured by Ikea chests and dressers, which are prone to tip over when they aren’t anchored to the wall. The deaths — all children under the age of 4 — date back to 1989 and are as recent as this February, the CPSC said.

The company is offering a refund or repair kit for affected dressers, including the MALM and other styles, the CPSC said. Further details were not immediately available. Furniture manufactured between 2002 and 2016 will entitle customers to a full refund; consumers can receive a partial store credit for items manufactured before 2002.

Pensacola Personal Injury LawyerUpon request, the company will send a crew to install the wall anchor for customers who don’t want to do it themselves, the CPSC said. In the meantime, the CPSC is encouraging consumers to store the dresser where children won’t have access to it. At least four of the deaths were the result of unanchored chests.

In a statement regarding the voluntary recall, Ikea said that “a child in the US dies every two weeks from furniture, appliances, or TVs tipping over,” stressing that it instituted a repair kit program last year “to communicate the importance of wall attachment, which resulted in the distribution of 300,000 kits to consumers who had not used their original hardware.”

Joe Zarzaur, founder of Zarzaur Law and Pensacola product liability lawyer, has created this  blog in an effort to educate the many citizens and visitors of Pensacola, Florida about their legal rights. Board Certified Lawyer Joe Zarzaur knows the ins and outs of Florida law, and offers friendly-quality legal help whether you have experienced a product malfunction, auto accident/car wreck, have been a victim of medical malpractice or are in need of a personal injury lawyer.

“Since then, we have been in close contact with the CPSC to evaluate the success of the repair program and the impact it is having on consumers’ actions. We are announcing this recall today given the recent tragic death of a third child,” the statement said, referring to the number of children killed by MALM dressers. Three other children have been killed by other-style IKEA chests.

“It is clear that there are still unsecured products in customers’ homes, and we believe that taking further action is the right thing to do,” Ikea continued in the statement. “We will continue to work collaboratively with the CPSC on tip-over prevention, development of the ASTM standard, and innovations that will enhance product safety and further reduce the risk of tip-overs.”

Pensacola Product Liability Lawyer

 

Some childhood injuries – bumps, cuts, and bruises – are a part of growing up. But if your child was hurt, you deserve answers. In cases of a serious accident resulting in substantial medical care or lasting impairment, you may need a Pensacola product liability lawyer or child accident lawyer to help get the financial compensation your family needs.

Zarzaur Law Firm can investigate the accident that caused your child’s injury. If it was a preventable accident, we can help you see to it that the responsible party is held liable under Florida personal injury or wrongful death laws. We can help you deal with the financial consequences of your child’s accident and provide further compassion and support as you deal with the emotional aspects of your child’s case.