You probably know that you can sue a company for selling you a defective product. But that isn’t all there is to it; many legal roadblocks lie ahead—such as how defective is defective, and how do you prove it.
Could you sue Subway for selling you a defective sandwich that doesn’t have pickles even though you explicitly asked for them, for instance?
We don’t know about pickles, but some did sue Subway for selling a footlong that was too short—and the case went on for 3 years. In the end, it didn’t even matter. The judge nixed it. Maybe Subway realized that size really matters, but nothing more came out of it.
But what does this tell us about defective products?
How Defective is Defective?
Proving a product is defective involves more than just saying your Subway sandwich is an inch short. Ideally, you’ll have evidence of physical damage. Generally, prescription drugs and hazardous products are the most commonly filed product liability lawsuits.
A defective product is one that:
- Has a manufacturing defect
- Is unnecessarily dangerous
- Did not warn you about the possible risks and hazards
- Did not contain adequate information about its use
If you want a solid case to build upon, here’s an essential checklist:
- Provide proof of physical damage that could have possibly occurred due to the product.
Pangs of hunger over short sandwiches don’t count as physical damage—burns due to an exploding smartphone do. That’s why a man sued Samsung in 2016, and it was treated as a serious matter.
- Prove that the product was defective in the first place—and prove that it was defective from the factory.
- Prove that the product defect directly caused the injury.
- Prove (and this is the clincher here) that you knewhow to use the product, and were following all proper instructions.
We emphasized the clincher because this is what the company you’re suing will focus on—they’ll say you used the product incorrectly. Trying to shift the blame to you is one of the oldest tricks in the books. Knowing they’ll go there will mean you’re prepared to deal with it.
Need More Legal Guidance with Your Product Liability?
Whether it’s a 3M combat earplugs lawsuit or any other defective product that you need help with, getting legal guidance is always the first step.
Lisa Douglas’ firm in N Little Rock, Arkansas, can help you with all your product liability issues and concerns. You can find out more on the website or get in touch directly for a free case evaluation.