Products Liability Newsletters
Products liability law covers personal injury and property damage that occurs when a defective product is used. A product is defective if its design makes it dangerous, if it was improperly manufactured or if the manufacturer failed to warn of the product's dangers. You may be able to recover damages if you are injured while using a defective product. There are three theories of products liability: strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty. This article covers a manufacturer's liability for breach of warranty.
Drug product liability lawsuits are usually based on the drug company's failure to warn of known (or likely) dangers in using a prescription drug or medical device. The first element that must be shown in a drug product liability lawsuit is causation. Did the drug or medical device cause the injury? The second question presented is whether the drug company provided adequate warnings about its product.
As a general rule, intermediaries (retailers, distributors, or wholesalers involved in distributing drugs and medical devices) have the same liability for a drug or medical device as the drug company that manufactured the product. Intermediaries that merely distribute the product can generally avoid liability, but distributors whose only activity involved unwrapping and rewrapping the products for sale to the retailer have been held liable. Some states have laws that prevent non-manufacturers from being held liable for injuries caused by defective products.
In 1985, the Massachusetts Supreme Court carved out an exception to the learned intermediary doctrine for oral contraceptives. The court held that the manufacturer of an oral contraceptive could not rely on warnings to doctors to satisfy its duty to warn
Choking is the leading cause of toy-related deaths. In fact, over a third of toy-related deaths are due to choking. The majority of toy-related choking deaths are caused by small balls and latex balloons. Children under age three are at higher risk for choking deaths because their airways are smaller than those of older children and because they have a tendency to put toys in their mouths.