Defective Product Lawyers in North Carolina
Defective products cause thousands of injuries and wrongful deaths every year. Defective products can include automotive components, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, machinery, food products, consumer goods, and more. In the United States, defective product lawsuits can be brought against product manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.
If you have been the victim of a defective product injury in North Carolina, contact Smith Giles PLLC for a free case evaluation today. We have built our reputation on getting results for everyday people harmed by faulty products, negligence, and failure to warn or properly label.
Types of Product Liability Lawsuits
There are three types of defective product lawsuits. These are:
- Manufacturing Defects – Manufacturing defects occur during the production of the product. These errors can occur due to miscalibrated machinery or because of the use of substandard materials. Manufacturers are liable for these defects because of the doctrine of strict liability, which holds them accountable for ensuring that the products they produce won’t cause harm to the end user.
- Design Defects – Design defects are the result of poorly designed products. These are often engineering errors that can cause a product to malfunction, such as a poorly chosen inflator for an airbag that causes it to release with dangerous force, or a lithium-ion battery that can overheat and cause a fire.
- Defective Marketing – This type of lawsuit pertains to a company’s failure to provide sufficient warnings or instructions regarding the appropriate use of the product that caused harm to an individual.
Most product liability lawsuits are pursued using the doctrine of strict liability as a guideline. Using this legal doctrine, plaintiffs must establish that a defect in the product caused harm to the individual. However, in North Carolina, plaintiffs must prove negligence in order to establish the liability of the defendant.
It is also possible to argue that the manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler, or retailer is responsible for breach of warranty. This includes any express or implied warranties made regarding the safety of the product. This would include advertising claims or promises made prior to the sale of the product.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Defective Product Injury?
Individuals in North Carolina can pursue defective product claims against manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers. Depending on the circumstances of the specific defect, multiple parties can be listed as defendants. When pursuing compensation in a product liability lawsuit, it is possible to recover compensation for the following:
- Medical treatment
- Physical therapy
- Prescription medication
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of earning capacity
The courts in North Carolina can award actual and general compensatory damages, which are designed to make the individual whole again following the injury. The courts can award special damages to reimburse plaintiffs for out-of-pocket expenses and financial losses. Finally, they can award punitive damages, so long as the award does not exceed three times the amount awarded for compensatory damages.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Statute of Limitations on Product Liability Cases?
North Carolina product liability lawsuits must be brought within three years of the date of injury or loss. There is also the 12-year statute of repose, which means that the initial purchase must have occurred less than 12 years prior to the lawsuit.
What Is the Innocent Seller Defense?
North Carolina allows product retailers to claim they had no prior ability to inspect the product prior to sale.
What if the Injured Party Wasn’t the Original Purchaser of a Defective Product?
There are limited circumstances when other individuals can file a defective product lawsuit. These include family members, friends, guests, etc. who are injured while using the product.
What Is Contributory Negligence?
Contributory negligence is a common defense in which defendants argue that the injured party altered, modified, or misused the product, thus contributing to the injury.
Can Survivors Bring Product Liability Claims?
Yes, survivors of individuals who suffer a fatal injury because of a defective product can file a lawsuit on their behalf.
Contact Smith Giles Attorneys at Law by calling 336-222-7735. Our firm represents clients in Alamance County, Burlington, Graham, Elon, Greensboro, Durham, Winston-Salem, and Raleigh.