Under Florida product liability statutes, consumers can hold suppliers, designers, distributors, and manufacturers liable for injuries caused by their products. Family members may file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a loved one whose death was caused by a defective product.
What Is the Florida Product Liability Statute?
According to Florida 2021 Statutes 768.81(1)(d), “products liability action means a civil action based upon a theory of strict liability, negligence, breach of warranty, nuisance, or similar theories for damages caused by the manufacture, construction, design, formulation, installation, preparation, or assembly of a product.”
What Are the 3 Types of Product Liability Lawsuits?
Not all product liability cases are the same. There are three primary ways that products end up causing injuries.
A design defect occurs when a product has a flaw in its actual formula or design which causes it to be harmful. It is the actual structure of the product that causes the issues and injuries. Products that are not properly tested before being put into production are likely to have undiscovered design defects.
Failure to Warn or Marketing Defect
Even when items are designed and manufactured well, problems can arise. If there are any risks associated with using the product, the manufacturer must let the public know. If a manufacturer fails to provide adequate instructions and warnings to help consumers avoid reasonable injuries, they can be held liable.
Even if there are no flaws in the design of the product, an error can occur during the physical manufacturing of the product that makes it unsafe for use. Errors can occur with a single item only, or it can affect the entire line of production.
Product Liability Factors Taken Into Consideration
If you or a loved one have incurred injury or property damage because of a defective product, you should seek compensation through the legal system. There are things to take into consideration that may guide the strategy for your legal case. It is important to talk to an experienced product liability attorney to understand what your damages are worth, gather evidence, and prepare your case.
Florida follows the pure comparative negligence rule, which decreases your recovery of damages in proportion to your degree of fault. For instance, if a defective product causes $100,000 in damage, but you are found to be 50 percent at fault for the accident, your compensation is reduced by $50,000.
Economic Loss Doctrine
The Florida Economic Loss Doctrine does not allow consumers to file a product liability claim if the only damage is financial, such as lost profits. There must be actual physical property damage or injury.
There are two potential avenues to hold someone at fault for product liability. The product must have had an actual defect that caused it to be unreasonably dangerous. Or, the actions of the manufacturer, seller, or distributor must have been negligent, thus leading to harm.
What Is the Florida Product Liability Statute of Limitations?
The Florida statute of limitations for product liability extends four years from the date injury the injury occurred. If the cause of action includes a wrongful death claim, that statute is shortened to two years.
Once you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, the clock starts ticking on the Florida product liability statute of limitations. But let’s look at some exceptions to this rule.
How to File a Florida Product Liability Claim
Whether you were injured by a defective toaster that caught on fire, a trampoline that had no weight limit, or a seat belt that wouldn’t latch properly, you should not have to absorb the entire financial burden of those injuries. Companies that produce defective and hazardous products should be held accountable.
It is important to secure experienced legal representation for your product liability case. Big companies are prepared for cases like yours. Do not accept any settlement offers without understanding what your case is worth.
Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon has served Florida consumers for over 100 years. We have a team of experienced personal injury attorneys, legal assistants, and support personnel to ensure that you receive the attention you deserve. We understand how devastating it can be, both emotionally and financially, to experience unexpected injury or damage. Schedule your case consultation and begin the process of recovering.