What is Meant by the term “Defective Product”?
A “defective product” for product liability purposes is one that causes an injury or damage as a result of some failure in the product or its labeling. The manufacturer and others involved in the chain of distribution of the product that caused the injury are generally liable for injuries that defective products cause. The courts in Hawaii, like in many other states, allow a personal injury claim to be pursued by a person who is injured by or incurs loss due to a “defective product”. These claims are called “Product liability” claims- and are also known as defective product claims.
Defective Products / Products Liability
Deadlines to File a Dangerous Product Claims
The deadline for most product liability claims in Hawaii is typically two (2) years from the date of the injuries caused by the product. It should be noted, however, that there are many exceptions to this rule – for example, claims against the City and County of Honolulu and various other Counties are supposed to be filed with the appropriate agency within six (6) months of the date of the accident. There are also some other exceptions which may provide some additional time in certain cases. Some dangerous products may cause injuries which do not appear for years after exposure to the product and other dangerous products may cause injuries which are not connected to the product by medical science for years after the exposure. Generally the date of that injury is deemed to have occurred is when the consumer has been (1) exposed to the product, (2) injured by the product and (3) has reason to know of the connection between the exposure and the injury – all 3. In some cases where a manufacturer has deliberately misled the public as to the safety of its product, the deadline for filing the product liability claim may be longer still. You must file your claims in court prior to the expiration of such deadlines, or your claims may be lost—regardless of their merit. To be wise it is recommended that you immediately contact an attorney after an accident giving rise to injuries occurs- please do not hesitate to :
Contact Hawaii Injury Lawyer | Attorney now for a free evaluation of your case.
Defective Product Liability Claim Information
Generally a product liability claim arises where a defective product has caused injury. A product is defective if it Products poses an unreasonable risk of harm. A product may be defective in design or in manufacture. The definition of a product is pretty broad, and it can even include components of a building such as an escalator. Leong v. Sears Roebuck and Co. Hawaii Supreme Court Case No. 20865 (December 14, 1998).
The absence of a warning of danger may be a defect and a warning which is deficient to provide a consumer with basic safety information may also be a defect. A victim does not need to be the owner or purchaser of the product in order to make a claim. However, if a victim is found to have been negligent in using a defective product (ie. to have failed to use ordinary care), it may reduce or completely defeat any recovery available.
Examples of Defective Product Claims
Some examples of consumer goods which have been led to successful products liability claims include: dangerous equipment – like an aerosol can – which explodes or otherwise injures users and/or bystanders, an appliance or other electrical device which gives an electrical shock or which ignites or causes nearby materials to catch on fire, medical devices which fail or which otherwise cause serious injury, medications with serious undisclosed side effects, vehicles which are unsafe to operate, equipment which comes apart causing injury when used, equipment without safety shields, childrens’ toys which endanger the child, furniture which comes apart or collapses during use, highly flammable fabrics in clothing, other products which violate OSHA or other state or federal regulations, products which fail to comply with safety standards and products without warnings of hidden dangers.
Links relating to Product Liability/Defective Product Claims
Government Websites [Copy and paste]
http://www.usa.gov/topics/consumer.shtml – Consumer Action Website
This site includes a listing of state, city and local consumer protection offices to assist individuals in filing complaints about products or services in the appropriate agency.
http://www.cpsc.gov – U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Consumer Product Safety- including a database of recalled products by type, description, manufacturer or month and year of recall. Forms are also provided for reporting product-related injuries to the CPSC, as well as research reports and publications.
http://www.fda.gov – U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Select “Information for Consumers” on the right side of the page to gain access to topics related to many drugs, cosmetics, medical devices and other products. Forms are also provided for reporting drug reactions, food-borne illnesses, etc.
Private Websites [Copy and paste]
http://www.autosafety.org – Center for Auto Safety
Vehicle and vehicle component safety information- Cars, trucks, buses and other vehicles. Recalls, investigations, lawsuits and action alerts.
http://www.citizen.org/Page.aspx?pid=183 – Public Citizen
Database and information on prescription drugs and drug policy issues- as well as an auto safety section regarding vehicles and components.
http://ul.com – Underwriters Laboratories
UL tests all types of electrical products for safety and compliance with regulations. Click “Online Tools” on the left-hand side for specific product information. Standards are also promulgated.
For more links- please see the defective product liability page at Accident Lawyer Hawaii- Accident Lawyer Hawaii- Products Liability Attorney Wm Lawson