When should you consult with a product liability expert witness? In the U.S., defective or dangerous products are the cause of thousands of injuries every year. When a product displays an unexpected defect or danger, the product cannot be said to meet the ordinary expectations of the consumer. Flaws in the way a product is marketed, such as improper labeling, insufficient instructions or inadequate safety warnings may be grounds for litigation. When a consumer is injured by a defective or dangerous product, they may be able to recover damages under strict product liability, negligence or breach of warranty. Product liability actions are complex. Sorting through technical issues requires a product liability expert with applicable knowledge of the product in question, the statutes and regulations specific to each state, as well as the fact pattern in the case.
Products liability cases address many industries and consumer products. In the news, a jury in Boston awarded $43.1M dollars in a lung cancer trial involving both tobacco and asbestos claims. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Superior Court case 15-5255, Summerlin, Louis E. et al vs. Philip Morris USA et al, names Philip Morris USA, RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company, Ford Motor Company, Hampden Automotive Sales Corporation, Hennessy Industries, Inc., Pneumo Abex Corporation, and Honeywell International Inc. as defendants. Summerlin developed lung cancer after a fifty-year addiction to menthol cigarettes. He worked as a brake mechanic with products containing asbestos.
Four companies settled claims against them prior to the September 7, 2018, trial. During the trial, the jury found that Philip Morris and Hampden breached the implied warranty in selling defective products, but there was not a substantial contributing factor in causing the plaintiff’s cancer. The jury found Reynolds liable on counts of breach of implied warranty of merchantability, negligence, and fraud. They also awarded $30M in punitive damages for the tobacco company acting “grossly negligent” in causing Summerlin’s cancer.
Establishing legal fault in a product liability action often requires the knowledge and testimony of experts. ForensisGroup offers product liability experts that specialize in a wide range of disciplines and areas of expertise. Contact ForensisGroup to find the product liability expert who can best analyze the fact pattern in your case and assist your legal team.