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Basics of Virginia personal injury claims involving faulty or defective products

When you buy a product from a brick and mortar store or an online outlet, you expect it to function as designed and intended. All too often, Virginia consumers and consumers around the country and world are seriously harmed by defective and malfunctioning products.

Many defective product recalls are in the news these days, such as a massive recall of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles involving 4.8 million units for a faulty cruise control.  One of the most famous recalls of recent years was the Takata airbag recall. This defective products killed dozens of people across the country and world when they improperly exploded and sprayed shrapnel in the vehicle. 

Under our state's complex laws governing liability, designers, manufacturers and sellers of improperly functioning or misdesigned products may be held financially liable for damages caused by the defective product. 

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Reasonably Safe

Virginia law states a product needs to be 'reasonable safe for its intended purposes' and for uses that are 'reasonably forseeable.' However products do not need to be produced or designed to be the absolute, ultimate in safety. It is required they simply be reasonably safe. If the product has been designed with an inherent danger, the maker or seller of the product must warn the consumer of possible risks with the product. A claim can be brough against the seller for not warning of forseeable risks. 

When Is Manufacturer Liable? 

In some states, a compny that designs or manufactures a product may be held liable under strict liability. This means the company or person may be liable even without prove of negligence. This is not the law in Virginia.. To be compensaated in a product liability case in Virginia, you must either prove negligence or show a case for breach of warranty. 

To hold the company responsible for your injuries from a defective product on a negligence theory, your product liability attorney must show: 

  • The product hasd a defect in such a manner that harm could have been foreseen
  • You used the product as it was designed and without any alteration
  • As a result of the defect you were injured

In a product liability case, the seller or installer also can be held liable for breach of warranty. If the company makes any express or implied warranties about the fitness or safety of a product, the company is liable if the warranty is not met. In this breach of warranty case, you could recover damages from a defective product and not prove that the company or manufacturer was negligent. 

Also, note that receipt is not required in a defective product case. But there should be evidence that proves something about how the product was produced or manufactured; many times these causes do not involve the actual person who bought the product, but it is vital to establish the make, model and date of manufacture for the potential legal case. 

Talking to a Virginia Product Liability Attorney

Regardless of your product case circumstances and injuries, if you are injured in Virginia by a defective product, and you thinkk the injury was caused by a defective product, the case will be complex and hard to prove on the basis of breach of warranty or negligence. The attorneys of Shapiro & Appleton are experienced product liability case attorneys.  One of our successful cases involved a $2.4 million jury verdict for a Chesapeake VA man who died in a Ryobi lawn mower fire. 

Please contact us today for a complimentary case review about your product liability case. 

Richard N. Shapiro
Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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