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Generally speaking, "products liability" (or defective products) refers to the liability of a manufacturer, seller, or other person or individual responsible for placing a product in the stream of commerce for property damage or personal injuries that the product caused. Although manufacturers of products that harm or injure consumers are liable for injuries, they are not insurers of the safe use of a product.
A manufacturer’s duty to provide an appropriate warning is virtually absolute for products which contain dangerous or toxic ingredients which are not obvious to the typical user. Further, the failure to provide a warning constitutes negligence. Moreover, it may even be negligence in failing to label as toxic a product with a known toxicity. In deciding whether there is a duty to warn, a supplier or manufacturer must consider the common knowledge held by foreseeable users, as well as whether the warning would reach users.
If a product’s manufacturer knows that when there is a severe reaction to the product, the person will die without an antidote, and the need for the antidote would not be known to an ordinary purchaser, a label is inadequate if it only states that if an allergic reaction sets in, the product should be discontinued.
Under the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code, a product manufacturer or seller is not liable if:
(1) the product itself is inherently unsafe and it is common knowledge in the community that the product is unsafe; and
(2) the product is a common consumer product intended for personal consumption, such as alcohol, sugar, castor oil, butter and tobacco.
There are several kinds of products liability actions. These include manufacturing defect, design defect and marketing defect (such as the failure to warn of a toxic product). To prove that a product is defective, it must be shown that the product was unreasonably dangerous in construction, in design, or because inadequate instructions or warnings were provided.
Our firm represents products liability clients in Corpus Christi, Galveston, Brownsville, Laredo, and all of Texas. Contact Corpus Christi defective product attorney Scott Nelson if you need help with a defective product lawsuit.
The standard of care which is owed to a particular individual depends on several factors, such as the circumstances of the particular event or whether a special relationship exists. The standard of care is sometimes a consideration in product liability and defective product cases.
For negligence purposes, the degree of care required, or the steps that would be seen as reasonable, depends upon the danger involved. Courts have found varying standards of care, such as ordinary and reasonable standard of care or a professional standard of care (for professional negligence cases).
The general standard of care to test the question of negligence is the common experience of mankind, and generally implies the want of that care and diligence which an ordinary prudent individual would use to prevent injury under the particular circumstances. To establish negligence liability, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant did something which an ordinarily prudent person exercising ordinary care would not have done under the same circumstances, or that the defendant did not do that which an ordinarily prudent person in the exercise of ordinary care would have done under the circumstances. Ordinary care is defined as that degree of care that would be exercised by a person of ordinary prudence under the same (or similar) circumstances.
Another duty of care is "due regard," which is different that ordinary care. Due regard is a midlevel or intermediate standard imposing a duty less than ordinary care, but greater than a simple lack of recklessness. In such a case, although a person does not have a duty to act, if one voluntarily acts, he must do so with due care and can be held liable for negligence.
Professionals, such as attorneys, architects, accountants, dentists, physicians and engineers must exercise that degree of skill, knowledge and judgment possessed by members of their respective professions. For instance, in the context of engineering services, professional negligence means doing that which an engineer of ordinary prudence in the exercise of ordinary care would have done in the same or similar circumstances (or, in the exercise of ordinary care, would not have done under the same or similar circumstances).