Knoxville Product Liability Lawyer
Knoxville Defective Product Attorneys With Decades of Combined Experience
Thousands of people are injured in Tennessee every year by defective consumer products. Fortunately, manufacturers, distributors, and shipping companies can all be held liable for these devastating injuries. Our Knoxville product liability lawyers at Fox Willis Burnette, PLLC are committed to obtaining compensation for those injured as a result of a manufacturer’s negligence.
Product liability is based on the premise that manufacturers are in the best position to keep unsafe or defective products off the market. A failure to exercise this duty can have devastating consequences, for which the manufacturer or distributor must be held responsible.
Manufacturers include any designers, fabricators, producers, or assemblers of a product or its parts. Sellers include retailers, wholesalers, and distributors, or any person or entity involved in the business of selling a product. This can include products available for resale, for use, or for consumption.
In order to establish that a manufacturer is liable for an injury caused by a dangerous product, an injured party must show that the product had a defective condition or was unreasonably dangerous. A dangerous or defective condition can arise from:
- A defective design;
- Defective manufacturing; or
- A failure to warn of defects.
A defective condition is any aspect of the product that makes it unsafe for normal or anticipatable handling or consumption. Most dangerous conditions that result in injuries to victims are caused by a defect in:
- Packaging; or
Defective and Unreasonably Dangerous Products
A product is any tangible object or good produced or sold in the marketplace. The Knoxville product liability lawyers at Fox Willis Burnette, PLLC have successfully represented clients injured by the following products:
- Medical devices;
- Chemicals; and
- Recreational products.
In Tennessee, a consumer’s expectations are taken into consideration when a court is determining whether a product was unreasonably dangerous. This test requires the injured party to show that the product’s performance did not meet the reasonable safety expectations of a typical consumer who has common knowledge about the particular product. The consumer expectations test cannot be used when the case involves complex products, with which most consumers are not familiar.
Juries are also permitted to use the prudent manufacturer test, which ask whether the steps taken by a product’s manufacturer or designer were reasonable under the circumstances. This requires an analysis of whether a reasonably prudent manufacturer or seller, knowing of a dangerous condition, would put the product on the market. Contact our Knoxville product liability attorneys for more information.
Product Liability Claims
In Tennessee, product liability actions can be based on the following legal theories:
- Strict liability;
- Breach of express or implied warranty; or
- Intentional misrepresentation or fraud.
In most cases, in order to establish liability for a defective product, an injured party will need to show that the manufacturer was negligent. However, under the theory of strict liability, this is not necessary. Instead, a victim in only required to prove that the product was defective and that the defect was the cause of an injury.
Under this theory, a defective product must have been in a defective or unreasonably dangerous condition when it left the manufacturer’s or seller’s control. If a product was altered at a later time, when it was no longer in the control of the manufacturer, the manufacturer will have a defense to strict liability and cannot be held responsible for a victim’s injuries. Another defense that may be argued by a product manufacturer is the sealed container doctrine. Under this theory, if a retailer sells a product that was sealed in a container at the time it was acquired, and there was no opportunity to inspect it, the intermediate seller cannot be held responsible for any defect.
Alternatively, an injured party can argue that a manufacturer or distributor was negligent in producing or selling the product. In order to prove negligence, the victim must show that the company was not reasonably careful in making or distributing the product and that those actions (or inaction) caused the victim’s injury.
Breach of Warranty
The failure to fulfill the explicit terms of an agreement included in a warranty regarding a product’s performance is also a legal theory under which product liability can be established. However, even if a product did not have an express warranty, it will still have an implied warranty. An implied warranty does not have to be guaranteed by the manufacturer or seller, but is imposed by the state. There are generally two types of implied warranties:
- Implied warranty of merchantability: This guarantees that a product is reasonably fit for the purpose for which it was marketed, produced, and sold.
- Implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose: This warranty imposes additional obligations on sellers who know that a buyer intends to use a product for a particular purpose. A seller’s failure to warn that a product is inappropriate for that use indicates that impliedly, the product is reasonably fit for that purpose.
In some cases, evidence reveals that the manufacturer knew of a danger but concealed it or marketed the product in a manner that was purposefully misleading. This may require evidence of company records showing the fraudulent acts.
Knoxville Product Liability Damages
In product liability cases, victims can recover monetary damages for the following:
- Past and future medical bills;
- Physical pain and suffering;
- Loss of earning capacity;
- Mental or emotional pain;
- Disfigurement; and
- Lost capacity for the enjoyment of life.
Contact the Knoxville product liability lawyers at Fox Willis Burnette, PLLC Today
The Knoxville product liability lawyers at Fox Willis Burnette, PLLC have over thirty years of experience representing clients who were injured by defective consumer products. While we will aggressively pursue your claim and work to obtain the compensation you deserve, we are also aware that these legal matters can be extremely stressful and emotional. We will treat you with sensitivity and do everything we can to give you peace of mind. Our firm operates on a contingency basis, so you will not need to worry about paying us unless your case is successful.
If you have been injured or lost a loved due to a defective product, please contact us at (866) 958-4414 for a free consultation.