Goldsboro Product Liability Lawyer
Injured by a Defective Product in North Carolina?
Product Liability Lawyer Explains Defects and Recalls
Product defects can affect almost anything you buy or use, including vehicles, medication, children’s toys and food. Even buildings and other structures may contain design or manufacturing errors which can cause a serious accident. Companies that make and market these items must perform tests and take reasonable steps to ensure that their products are safe for users. However, some manufacturers may cut corners to increase profits or even knowingly sell dangerously defective products. As a result, many consumers suffer serious injuries or wrongful death. While some companies issue product recalls after a certain number of incidents and reports, sometimes dangerous products remain on the market for years. If you or a loved one sustained injuries due to defects, then you may be able to recover compensation through a product liability claim. This type of action may also help remove defective products from circulation, protecting others.
If you need assistance with an injury claim, then contact a product liability lawyer from Riddle & Brantley today. It is not always easy to tell when product defects cause or contribute to an accident. However, our attorneys work with investigators and industry experts; if a defect is to blame, we can find it. Depending on the circumstances, we may be able to assist you in filing a product liability claim against the manufacturer, marketer and/or other parties as well.
What Are the Possible Types of Product Defects?
Since virtually any product may contain a flaw, the exact nature of a dangerous defect can vary widely. However, liability in product defect claims generally depends on the source of the flaw. Therefore, the three broad categories of product defects are:
- Design defects. In some cases, the way a product is designed poses a danger to users. For example, flaws in the chemical mixture of Roundup weed killer may cause cancer to those exposed to it. Certain medications may also contain design defects that cause serious health conditions or reactions. Generally, companies must perform exhaustive tests on these types of items to identify health risks. However, some companies overlook such tests or ignore the results.
- Manufacturing defects. Even if the design of an item is sound, negligence during the manufacturing process may cause deadly flaws. For example, the use of substandard materials and methods during the manufacture of tires can cause weak spots on the rubber. This increases the likelihood of a blowout.
- Insufficient labels. Some products are safe but only for a particular use. Therefore, manufacturers must include warning labels and clear instructions to prevent injuries. For example, medication labels must warn if the drug interacts poorly with other drugs. Failure to warn consumers with effective labels may cause a preventable injury.
Identifying the source of a defect requires an extensive investigation into the production process of an item. A North Carolina product liability lawyer from our law firm can take steps to find the liable party on your behalf.
What Are Recent Recalls and Dangerous Products?
Each year, hundreds of products are subject to recalls due to dangerous defects and/or failure to warn. In some cases, regulatory agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issue these recalls or mandatory warnings. In other cases, the manufacturer may voluntarily recall defective products. However, a recall is not necessary to file a product liability claim. Products that have been subject to recent lawsuits include:
Although no recall has yet been issued for this chemical, Roundup manufacturer Monsanto is facing several lawsuits. These claims allege that exposure to glyphosate, a main Roundup ingredient, causes cancer. North Carolina may be a state where many citizens were exposed to Roundup while working in agriculture or on golf courses.
On Oct. 22, 2014, the NHTSA issued a recall of approximately 7.8 million vehicles from manufacturers Honda, Nissan, General Motors, Toyota, Subaru and more for defective airbags manufactured by Takata Corp. These airbags may explode without warning or at a minor impact, sending shrapnel flying at passengers.
Johnson & Johnson, makers of popular talc-based products, are facing dozens of lawsuits for dangerous talcum powder. Studies show that talc use can cause ovarian cancer. Additionally, the company may have known about these dangers for over 30 years but continued to market the product to women.
Nissan Motor Co. announced the recall of 1,053,479 vehicles because the passenger seat airbags could fail to deploy. This is the third recall of these vehicles to fix the same problem. The attorneys at Riddle & Brantley are currently litigating a Nissan brake failure claim in eastern North Carolina.
Multiple General Motors models have been recalled for ignition switch problems. This can cause vehicles to lose all power at any moment. GM also announced a recall of 73,000 Chevy Cobalts over an airbag wiring issue. The defect could prevent the roof-mounted driver side airbags from deploying.
Important Deadlines in Product Liability Claims
The Statute of Limitations and Statute of Repose in North Carolina may determine whether you can pursue your product liability case. In North Carolina, an injured party has 3 years from the date of the accident or date of loss to settle or file a lawsuit. This is called our Statute of Limitations.
However, North Carolina also has a Statute of Repose. This means that, regardless of the date of your loss or injury, a claim may not be made or brought after a certain period of time has run. In 2009, North Carolina extended the Statute of Repose from six years to twelve years for all claims that occur after October 1, 2009. This means that we cannot file suit for claims that arose as a result of actions that took place more than twelve years ago even if the actual injury takes place today unless the liable party engaged in fraud to prevent discovery of the defect.
What Kinds of Products May Be Defective?
Our attorneys are experienced with a wide range of defective product liability cases, including:
- Car Parts (Seatbelts, Airbags, Tires, Etc.)
- Toys (Bikes, Wagons, Etc.)
- Lawn Products (Lawnmowers, Etc.)
- Medicines & Pharmaceuticals
- Medical Equipment
- Electronics (Televisions, Stereos, Hand-held Devices, Etc.)
- Factory Equipment
- Tools (Power Drills, Etc.)
Need Help with a Product Liability Claim? Call Our NC Lawyers Now
At Riddle & Brantley, we work hard for injured people throughout North Carolina. If you believe manufacturing or design defects caused your injuries, then we can help. With offices in Goldsboro, Kinston, Raleigh, and Jacksonville, we have the resources and knowledge to build a case designed for the best possible result. After all, our goal is delivering justice in the form of compensation to our clients to help them cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Call (800) 525-7111 or contact us online for a free evaluation with a product liability lawyer. For your convenience, we can visit you at home, in the hospital, or in the nursing home. Flexible appointment times are available as well.