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California Product Liability Attorneys

What Is Product Liability? What Is a Product Liability Lawsuit and Can They Be Brought as a California Class Action Suit When a Person’s Individual Damages Are Not Large?

Products used as intended should not hurt you or your property. This is a plain and simple declarative statement. It is true, and no consumer should doubt it. But, what if a product hurts me or damages a consumer or their property? In the United States, if a product hurts people or damages property, its manufacturer is strictly liable for the harm the product caused. Product Liability is the liability of manufacturers, distributors, retailers and other resellers of defective products. Lawsuits filed against these entities for damage and harm caused by defective products are called Product Liability lawsuits.

Often consumers think that the attorney fee they would owe to pursue their claims about defective products will be too big to justify hiring an attorney. Other times, consumers think that hiring experts to investigate their claims will be so expensive, they could not afford to pursue their claims about defective products. The solution to both problems lies in pursuing these claims as class action claims.

In a class action one or a few people, who own defective products that were sold to many, sue on behalf of themselves and all other consumers who bought the same product. The person who files the suit, who is named in the lawsuit, is called the class representative. He/she represents all of the other product owners, the “class members”, who are collectively known as the “class.”

Attorneys who would not agree to represent one or a few owners that purchased a defective product will agree to represent a consumer that is willing to be a “class representative” who is willing to act in a representative capacity on behalf of all of the other product owners. Attorneys who specialize in class actions usually advance the costs and expert witness fees needed to advance the class claims.

Attorneys who represent classes of consumers are paid by the company that is sued, the defendant, from the settlement common fund or pursuant to agreement, all of which is subject to the Court approval.

Examples of California product liability or defective product class actions include the following:

Frontload Washers: Electrolux, Frigidaire, Bosch, Siemens, Maytag, Whirlpool, Samsung, LG
Residential Windows: International, Merzon, Champagne, Viking, Pella & Marvin
Computers: Apple, HP & Dell
Tires: Bridgestone Tire
Roof Tiles: Monier, LifeTile, MonierLifeTile, US Tile, Pioneer, GAF
Microwave Ovens: General Electric

Almost any product sold to a consumer that is defective and has caused, or is substantially likely to cause, injury to a person or damage to property can be sued in a product liability lawsuit.

Most states have consumer protection statutes that prohibit a company from making misrepresentations or concealing information about a product’s characteristics, uses, benefits, sponsorship, approvals, quality, grade or standard. Examples of this are: “Our windows won’t leak”; “Your clothes will be cleaner, smell fresher and look brighter after you use a (insert manufacturer’s name) frontload washer”; or “After you install a (insert manufacturers name) roof, you will never need another one.”

Consumers have rights, albeit more limited than you would think. These rights can be asserted against manufacturers, retailers and web-based companies that make misrepresentations and omissions. This is true even if the misrepresentation or omission is about an inexpensive service or product. In the context of a class action, small and fairly large individual damages can be recovered against large corporations.

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