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Types of Product Liability

Posted on in Defective Medical Devices

Product liability law is a highly specialized niche of tort law that enables injured plaintiffs to hold those responsible, usually large corporations with even larger law firms, accountable for their actions. In order to bring an action based on product liability, plaintiffs must pigeonhole their claim into at least one of the product liability theories. The main theories of liability are:

  1. Manufacturing defect,
  2. Defective design, and
  3. Improper warning.

Manufacturing defect liability arises from an inherent defect in a product that causes an injury. Design defect liability stems from a flaw in the way a product is designed to operate. Lastly, improper warning liability stem from inadequate disclosures of the risks associated with the products.

Each of these theories, in turn, requires plaintiffs support them through factual allegations that support the elements of each of these theories. At times, a case may involve more than one product liability theory. For example, take the Mirena birth control device, which became popular because once implanted, it can act be effective for up to five years. However, problems arose, which involved the device becoming dislodged and traveling around a person's body. In one instance, it traveled all the way into the pelvic area.

To make matters worse, the device can dislodge at any time, with reports varying from as little as a few hours to several years after implantation. In one case, the strings that were supposed to tell the device was still in place, wrapped around a blood vessel.

In addition to the injuries, Mirena has come under fire because of the lax warnings in connection with these potential problems. In cases like Mirena, the victims may bring a product liability suit under a theory of design defect and improper warning. Each of these theories can stand on its own footing, thus increasing the likelihood of success at trial.

Product liability law is complicated. Fortunately, product liability attorneys specialize in fighting for injured clients. If you have been injured, do not fight alone. Consult an Illinois personal injury attorney to discuss your options.

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