Cincinnati Product Liability Attorneys Serving All of Ohio
Product liability is the area of law concerned with the rights of consumers who have been injured by faulty products. People suffer injury due to defective products every day—sometimes serious injuries that require substantial medical treatment, result in permanent impairment, and may even prove fatal.
A defective product lawyer at Burg Simpson can help you make a claim against manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. Reasons to hire a product liability attorney at Burg Simpson include:
- Over $2 billion in results. We have obtained substantial compensation for clients in defective product claims. Our lawyers will negotiate for a favorable settlement on your behalf and, if necessary, prepare your case for trial and represent you in court.
- Decades of experience. Burg Simpson was founded in 1976. Today, our firm has 60+ elite attorneys who handle complex cases throughout the country.
- National strength with local clout. Lawyers at Burg Simpson have the knowledge and resources of a large law firm without ever losing sight of the individual people we serve. Big insurance companies do not intimidate us, and we provide peerless representation for clients in product liability claims and other matters.
For a FREE and confidential case evaluation, call Burg Simpson at 513-852-5600 today. Our defective product lawyers serve clients in Cincinnati, all of Ohio, and nationwide.
Defective Product Cases We Handle
Burg Simpson has extensive experience in the area of products liability law. Our attorneys have an in-depth knowledge of the statutes governing defective products and the legal remedies available to consumers who have been harmed through no fault of their own. We work with leading experts to prove that the product was defective, how your injuries occurred, and what compensation you are due.
Types of product liability claims we handle at Burg Simpson include:
- Medical Products
- Implanted Medical Devices
- Pharmaceutical Products
- Over-the-Counter Medications
- Herbal Supplements
- Unsafe and Defective Vehicles
- Cars and Trucks
- Farm Equipment
- Defective Consumer Goods
- Children’s Products
- Household Products
- Industrial & Manufacturing Equipment
- Contaminated Food
- Building Materials
Burg Simpson specializes in product liability claims involving dangerous drugs and medical devices. Several of our attorneys have taken a leading role in national litigation concerning various types of defective drugs.
Sometimes an entire product line may suffer from the same defect. Consumers who are injured may have individual claims (known in the legal industry as mass torts) or, depending on the circumstances, qualify for participation in a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer. A product liability attorney at Burg Simpson can review your case and advise you of your legal options.
What Are the 3 Types of Product Liability Claims?
Products can have a wide range of defects when they are not designed, manufactured, packaged, and distributed properly. As a rule, however, product liability claims can be organized into the following three categories:
1. Design Defects
A design defect occurs when the risks associated with the product’s design outweigh the benefits of that design. If there is a design defect associated with a product, then every product incorporating that design element may be defective.
2. Manufacturing Defects
A manufacturing defect occurs when something goes wrong in the manufacturing process for a particular product. In other words, a flaw in the manufacturing process causes a particular product to deviate from the manufacturer’s specifications when it is released to market.
Depending on where and how the flaw arose in the manufacturing process, a manufacturing defect can affect a single isolated product or tens of thousands of units. A defective product lawyer will investigate the manufacturing process to determine where the error occurred and what companies may be responsible.
3. Inadequate Warnings or Instructions
Manufacturers must provide adequate warnings and instructions to ensure that consumers use their products safely. This means that a manufacturer must inform consumers of the risks associated with the use of the product, how to safely use the product, and who should not use the product. A product liability claim can arise when a consumer suffers harm as a result of the manufacturer’s failure to adequately warn or instruct consumers of the product’s risks.
3a. Misrepresentation by Manufacturer
Ohio Revised Code § 2307.77 provides an additional definition of a defective product:
“A product is defective if it did not conform, when it left the control of its manufacturer, to a representation made by that manufacturer.”
If nonconformance to a representation by the manufacturer causes injury, the consumer can make a defective product claim. This right exists even if the manufacturer “did not act fraudulently, recklessly, or negligently in making the representation.”
How Do You Prove a Product Is Defective?
To recover compensation for personal injury in a product liability claim, you first need to establish that the product was defective. Not all defects are obvious, so it is important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible if you believe a faulty product may have caused your injuries.
A defective product lawyer will take the following steps to evaluate the product for flaws:
- Examination of the product and its components. Whether the product is intact or in pieces, you need to keep it in a safe place. The only way to identify a design or manufacturing defect is by close inspection of the product itself.
- Review of warnings and instructions. If your injuries resulted from a failure to warn, it will be necessary to establish what if any warnings were included with the product.
- Photographing the product, your injuries, and any damages. Documenting the injury is key. Photos can help illustrate the nature of the defect and the harm you sustained, as well as any additional property loss (e.g., if the product’s failure started a fire that damaged your home).
- Reviewing your medical records. You should seek medical attention as soon as possible if you or a loved one suffered injury due to a defective product. Thorough records by doctors and other medical professionals can support your case.
- Consulting expert witnesses. Product liability claims require in-depth understanding of industry standards for various products. Expert witnesses can testify as to the processes used to design and manufacture products, the applicable safety regulations, and how manufacturers and other companies may have deviated from these standards and released a dangerous product.
Defective product claims involve unique challenges. It is of the utmost importance to work with a law firm that has the experience, knowledge, and resources to prepare an effective case on your behalf and pursue the compensation you deserve.
Who Is Responsible for a Defective Product?
Establishing liability for your injuries is one of the most complicated aspects of a product liability claim. Today’s consumer products are typically designed, made, and distributed by multiple companies. As such, multiple parties may be liable in a defective products claim. The key is identifying all of the defendants.
Can You Sue a Company for a Defective Product?
In Ohio, any and all companies involved in the manufacturing of a product (which encompasses everything from the design to the assembly of the product; see Ohio Revised Code § 2307.71(9)) may be held liable for injuries and damages stemming from a defect. The following must be shown for a product liability claim to proceed:
- The product in question was defective in one of the following respects:
- The manufacturer in question was responsible for designing, formulating, producing, constructing, creating, assembling, or rebuilding the product.
- The product defect caused the claimant’s injuries.
Defective product claims against a manufacturer are handled on the basis of strict liability. It is not necessary to prove that the company or companies that manufactured the product were negligent; rather, it is only necessary to prove that the product was defective, that the manufacturer made the product, and that the defect caused the claimant’s injuries.
Can a Retailer Be Held Liable for Defective Products?
Retailers are considered “suppliers” under the Ohio Products Liability Act. A retailer may only be held liable for injuries caused by defective products if one of the following conditions applies:
“(1) The supplier in question was negligent and that, negligence was a proximate cause of harm for which the claimant seeks to recover compensatory damages;
“(2) The product in question did not conform, when it left the control of the supplier in question, to a representation made by that supplier, and that representation and the failure to conform to it were a proximate cause of harm for which the claimant seeks to recover compensatory damages. A supplier is subject to liability for such a representation and the failure to conform to it even though the supplier did not act fraudulently, recklessly, or negligently in making the representation.”– Ohio Revised Code § 2307.78(A)
Unlike with defective product claims against a manufacturer, retailers may only be held strictly liable for product-related injuries under very specific circumstances. A product liability lawyer can assess your case, determine the applicable legal standard, and take steps to prove negligence on the part of the retailer.
Damages in a Product Liability Claim
Injuries from a defective product can be extremely serious. Dangerous drugs and medical devices may cause new health issues or exacerbate existing conditions. Auto accidents are often caused by defective motor vehicles and component parts. Other types of consumer products can create choking hazards, cause burn injuries, and much more.
These and other injuries can result in substantial expenses and adversely affect your life in many other ways. A product liability attorney in Cincinnati will strive to obtain maximum compensation for any and all losses you have suffered due to the defective product. Burg Simpson can pursue recovery of the following:
- All medical expenses to-date
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- The cost of future medical care
- Loss of earning capacity
- The cost of household services
- Expenses related to modifying your home and/or vehicle
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Permanent disability
- Loss of the enjoyment of life
In some cases, an encounter with a product defect may prove fatal for a consumer. If your loved one died as a result of injuries or an illness caused by a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death claim.
How Long Do I Have to Make a Claim?
Generally speaking, the statute of limitations for product liability claims in Ohio is 2 years from the date the injury occurs. There are, however, several exceptions to this rule that are worth noting.
If you were exposed to toxic chemicals or the injury was caused by a defective drug or medical device, you have 2 years from (a) the date the injury or illness was diagnosed, or (b) the date you should have reasonably become aware of the injury or illness—whichever is earlier. This limitation period applies to “ethical drugs” and “ethical medical devices,” which are defined as follows:
- “’Ethical drug’ means a prescription drug that is prescribed or dispensed by a physician or any other person who is legally authorized to prescribe or dispense a prescription drug.”
- “’Ethical medical device’ means a medical device that is prescribed, dispensed, or implanted by a physician or any other person who is legally authorized to prescribe, dispense, or implant a medical device and that is regulated under the ‘Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act’”
– Ohio Revised Code § 2307.71(4)–(5)
Product liability claims in Ohio can also be brought up to 2 years from the date of discovery (i.e., the date the injury is diagnosed or the date a plaintiff should have discovered the injury in the course of reasonable diligence—whichever comes first) if a product defect results in exposure to any of the following toxic substances:
- Agent Orange and other “chemical defoliants or herbicides” (applies to military veterans)
- Diethylstilbestrol or “other nonsteroidal synthetic estrogens” (includes prenatal exposure)
– O.R.C. § 2305.10(B)(2)–(5)
Finally, it is important to note that product liability actions in Ohio (except for those involving dangerous drugs, defective medical devices, and the substances discussed above) may not proceed more than 10 years “from the date that the product was delivered to its first purchaser.” A defective product lawyer can determine when the product was first sold and whether you have a viable claim.
Contact a Cincinnati Defective Product Lawyer Today
For more than 45 years, Burg Simpson has been renowned and respected for our handling of personal injury and product liability matters. We have repeatedly achieved recognition as one of top mass tort and class action law firms in Cincinnati and in the nation as a whole.
Products liability is a unique and challenging area of law. You need a knowledgeable lawyer who can assist you with all aspects of your case, from identifying potential options for pursuing compensation to collecting evidence to negotiating a settlement. In the event that your case goes to court, our seasoned trial attorneys can advocate aggressively on your behalf for all of the compensation you deserve.
Burg Simpson handles defective product claims nationwide from our office in Cincinnati, Ohio. Call 513-852-5600 today for a FREE and confidential case evaluation with an experienced defective product lawyer.