product liability attorney rochester michigan
Product Liability Attorney

product liability attorney rochester michigan

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product liability attorney rochester michigan
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Product Liability Attorney Rochester Hills

Product Liability

Every year, tens of thousands of people claim injury or death as a result of flawed and unsafe products. It may be complex commercial tools and equipment or simple retail products. But could the manufacturer or seller really have prevented the alleged injuries? Michigan courts have long held that manufacturers are not insurers that in every instance and under all circumstances that no injury will result from the use of their products.

An injured person must show that the product was defective. Plaintiffs commonly attempt to establish the existence of a defect by alleging negligent design, negligent manufacture, negligent failure to warn, breach of an express or implied warranty, or misrepresentation or fraud about the product. But in Michigan, these are not easy hurdles to overcome.

The lawyers at MacArthur, MacArthur & Associates, P.C. have been handling product liability cases for decades. We have significantly limited defendants’ liabilities in product liability litigation. We can help you as well - by developing solid defenses to plaintiffs’ allegations of injuries from defective products.

Negligent Design

In 1996, the Product Liability Act was amended to require proof that both the product was unreasonably dangerous at the time it left the manufacturer’s control and that a practical and technically feasible alternative design was available at the time of production. This amendment has made it significantly more difficult for plaintiff’s to establish negligent design - provided that the defenses are properly developed during the discovery process.

Negligent Manufacture

A plaintiff will commonly allege that his or her injuries were the result of a negligently manufactured product. The plaintiff must show that the manufacturer failed to do what a reasonable manufacturer would have done in the production of the product. Where there are differences between the subject product and the product in its intended condition, it is imperative for you to have attorneys that will investigate other causes for the changes in the product - including failure to maintain, modification of the product by the user or misuse by the user.

Negligent Failure to Warn

The revisions to the Product Liability Statute in 1996 significantly limited defendants’ duty to warn of risks that should be obvious to a reasonably prudent product user or that are matters of common knowledge to persons in the same or similar position as the plaintiff. The amendments also provided that manufacturers and sellers are not liable for the failure to warn or to instruct unless the plaintiff can prove that the manufacturer knew or should have known of the risk of harm based on the scientific, technical, or medical information reasonably available when the product left its control. Manufacturers and seller are likewise not liable for failure to provide a warning to a sophisticated user, unless a warning is required by state or federal statute or regulation. This amendment has made it significantly more difficult for plaintiff’s to establish negligent failure to warn - if the defenses are properly worked up during discovery.

Breach of Implied or Express Warranty

To establish a cause of action for breach of implied warranty, a plaintiff must prove that the product was not fit for its intended and reasonably foreseeable purposes, that is, that the product was defective. While plaintiffs technically do not have to prove negligence under this theory, the existence of a defective condition is measured by a negligence standard –thereby imposing the same difficulties for plaintiff as the negligent design and negligent manufacture causes of action.

An express warranty is a representation or statement, made in writing, orally or by any other means, by a manufacturer or seller that his or her product has certain characteristics or will meet certain standards. However, not every statement that is made about a product is part of an express warranty. A statement of opinion which cannot reasonably be believed or relied upon has been deemed to be sales talk and not a representation of an express warranty.

Misrepresentation and Fraud

To establish misrepresentation or fraud, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant made a material representation, that the representation was false, that the defendant knew it was false or made it recklessly, and the defendant intended that the plaintiff would act on it, that the plaintiff acted in reliance on it, and that the plaintiff suffered an injury.

Alleging misrepresentation and fraud can be tempting because the recoverable damages may be greatly expanded and even include exemplary damages.

Tailor-Made Discovery

With all these theories of liability – each with its own peculiarities - you need an experienced produce liability law firm. The lawyers at MacArthur, MacArthur & Associates, P.C. have been doing just that for more than 30 years. Since there are no boilerplate models for discovery in product liability cases, we’ll recommend an efficient, effective and tailor-made plan for discovery that will result in the lowest possible exposure for you.

Traditional Defenses and Limitation of Damages

In addition to the traditional defenses to the plaintiffs claim that the product was the cause in fact and the proximate cause of the injuries he or she sustained, there are issues of comparative negligence, assumption of the risk, Federal preemption, and the sophisticated user defense.

Even if the plaintiff is able to establish a prima facie products liability case, damages for noneconomic loss in a product liability actions are limited pursuant to MCL 600.2946a(1).

We’re the Right Choice for You

Indeed, with the numerous hurdles that a plaintiff must overcome and the plentiful defenses that exist for defendants, your Michigan product liability case requires a thorough analysis to ensure your exposure is properly limited or eliminated. Contact the attorneys at MacArthur, MacArthur & Associates, P.C. for a consultation today.

 

Product Liability Attorney Rochester Hills

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