In the simplest terms, the Texas product liability law allows you and/or your loved ones to recover damages if you are injured, killed, or your property is damaged as a result of a defective product. A manufacturer or seller may be held liable when a product fails due to design or manufacturing errors and a consumer suffers injury as a result.
When you purchase a product and use it for its intended purpose, you expect that it will function properly and not cause injury. However, companies often value their profits over consumer safety.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports, “In recent years, there were nearly 51,000 deaths (2019) and 28.5 million medically treated injuries (2020) associated with consumer products.” Those astounding numbers need to be addressed and losses recovered in the case of liability on the part of the seller or manufacturer.
Businesses and manufacturers must be held accountable for faulty products and product design. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product in Houston or elsewhere in Texas, call Patrick Daniel Law at (713) 999-6666 for a FREE review of your case. We are consumer safety advocates experienced with Texas product liability law.
Per the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 82.001, here are a few terms that are helpful when considering Texas product liability law:
The “party seeking relief…” or the person seeking compensation for losses related to a defective product. The claimant is often the consumer.
The party that sold, distributed, or somehow placed the product in “the stream of commerce for use or consumption…”
The party that is the “designer, formulator, constructor, rebuilder, fabricator, producer, compounder, processor, or assembler” of the product in question. Simply, the person or party that built or designed it.
Products are intended for use. A consumer trusts that the product they purchase will work as advertised, last for the stated period of time, and be safe to use. However, some sellers and manufacturers are less concerned with the danger to the consumer than with their own success.
Product liability isn’t handled at the federal level. It is important to know your state’s specific laws. Texas product liability law defines the parameters of legal liability on the part of sellers and manufacturers to compensate consumers for damages and injuries resulting from product defects.
Additionally, the law asserts that the duty owed to the consumer goes beyond compensation for injury and damage related to a defect. The seller/manufacturer also has a duty to provide necessary information about the product, safe-handling instructions, and warnings regarding misuse and the dangers inherent with the product even when it is used correctly.
Understanding who is liable in your product liability action is complex. Before a product gets to the consumer, designers, manufacturers, wholesalers, sellers, and other parties have a hand in its creation.
According to Section 82.002 of the law, a manufacturer will be held liable, rather than the seller, in many cases. The seller may be held liable independently for injuries consumers sustain due to “the seller’s negligence, intentional misconduct, or other act or omission, such as negligently modifying or altering the product.”
Since it requires expertise and investigation of the product, its defect, and its origins to discern the defendant(s) in a product liability action, we recommend contacting a skilled lawyer.
Any product with an undisclosed defect that causes harm to a consumer can be the subject of a product liability action. An action will typically fall under one of three categories:
The most common product liability actions involve medications, auto parts, lawn or home improvement equipment, children’s toys, or medical devices. Still, if you have sustained injuries and losses related to a defective product, you should contact a knowledgeable product liability attorney to evaluate your case.
A product liability action is any legal action taken against a seller or manufacturer to recover damages resulting from a defective product. Damages to the consumer can include:
A product liability action must be based on legal theory including, but not limited to:
A defendant would be legally liable for the claimant’s injuries and damages regardless of whether there was any negligence or wrongdoing on the defendant’s part.
Failure on the part of the seller or manufacturer to use reasonable care which results in injury to the consumer.
A seller or manufacturer intentionally makes false statements regarding a product, its capabilities, and/or its characteristics.
The violation or nonobservance of a warranty whether express or implied. An express warranty affirms certain aspects about the product and promises, in writing, that the product satisfies the statements in the description. An implied warranty affirms that the product can reasonably be expected to perform as intended and will be safe to operate if used properly.
When things go wrong and a defective airbag burns you, your child falls from an improperly designed playset, or your father’s pacemaker proves faulty, the seller/manufacturer must be held accountable. However, the burden of proof is on the claimant.
There are necessary elements for the successful litigation of a product liability action. These are:
The product must have a defect that was not obvious to the average consumer. The defect could be related to the design of the product, its manufacturing, or inadequate warnings or instructions.
The product must have caused an injury, and that injury must have resulted directly from the defect in the product.
Claimants must be able to prove that they were using the product in the manner intended.
There are instances in which the seller or manufacturer would not be held liable. For example:
If you’ve been injured or your property has been damaged by a defective product, you don’t have the time to become an expert on Texas product liability law and the product itself. In this unfortunate situation, we suggest you follow a few simple steps to successfully take aim at the seller or manufacturer.
Dealing with the aftermath of an injury from a defective product can feel overwhelming. The companies designing, manufacturing, and selling the product that caused you harm will spend big money to defend themselves and deflect the blame. With the burden of proof lying squarely on the claimant’s shoulders, it is vital to have the help of a dedicated consumer safety advocate.
Patrick Daniel Law has an extensive understanding of Texas product liability law. We will conduct a thorough investigation, identify the party or parties responsible for your injuries, and pursue compensation on your behalf.
Contact Patrick Daniel Law for a FREE consultation. We serve clients in Houston, Texas, and throughout the country.