Companies have a legal obligation to ensure that the products they are selling are reasonably safe for consumers. Yet, in far too many cases, companies violate this obligation to the public. They choose to put short-term profits ahead of the health and safety of consumers. Sadly, defective products injure thousands of innocent people every year.
At Kapuza Lighty, PLLC, our Yakima defective products lawyers are committed to holding negligent companies legally liable for their misconduct. If you or your loved one was hurt due to a defective product, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. To get help with your claim, please contact our law firm today.
Common Defective Product Cases
Product liability claims come in many different forms. At Kapuza Lighty, PLLC, our defective product lawyers handle the full range of product liability cases. Some examples of products that have been implicated in defective product lawsuits include:
- Pharmaceutical drugs;
- Medical equipment;
- Motor vehicles and auto parts;
- Industrial equipment;
- Consumer appliances;
- E-cigarettes and vaping devices;
- Children’s toys; and
- Other common household products.
Any product can have a defect that causes harm to you or someone you love. There are three main types of product liability cases. The first involves a design defect. Claims arising from design defects allege the product was faulty from its inception.
Manufacturing defects involve a defect during manufacturing. The product’s design is fine, but something went wrong during the manufacturing phase that made it defective. For example, the accidental inclusion of a toxic ingredient would be a manufacturing defect.
The third type of defective product case involves a failure to warn. If a product is inherently dangerous when used in a certain manner, it must contain a warning. The legal requirement to warn exists even if the hazard seems obvious, such as possible health complications if you willingly ingest household cleaners.
Understanding Washington’s Product Liability Rules
In 1981, our state legislature passed the Washington Product Liability Act (WPLA). The premise of the Act is to create a uniform system that will protect all consumers from defective products in a fair manner and streamline these cases in the legal system. Most defective product claims in the state are now brought under this statute. This Act is a notoriously complex law. The WPLA offers several different legal theories under which an injured victim could potentially establish liability. These theories include:
- The risk utility formula: This formula allows victims to prevail if they can provide that an alternative product design would have cost less for the company than the total value of the injuries caused by the dangerous product.
- Consumer expectations: Under this theory, victims can hold companies liable if their product is substantially more dangerous than reasonable consumer expectations.
- Lack of warnings or proper instructions: Companies may also be held legally liable if their labels contain a lack of warnings or inadequate product safety instructions.
- Breach of warranty: Companies may be held legally responsible for defective products under Washington contract law in certain cases.
Most product defect cases will be filed against the manufacturer. However, suppliers, marketers, and retailers can also be held responsible for defective products in some cases.
The Time to File a Claim Is Limited
If you believe you have a valid product liability case under the WPLA, you must act quickly. As with other types of personal injury cases, you have only a limited amount of time to file a claim. Washington’s product liability statute of limitations requires that you file a lawsuit within three years from the date of your injury.
Some situations may alter the statute of limitations, but they are very limited. Don’t risk missing the deadline by waiting until the last minute. When you retain our Yakima product liability lawyers, we will ensure your case is filed within the limitations period. If you miss the deadline, the court could dismiss your case. The statute of limitations is in place to protect all parties. It ensures you file your case timely while evidence is still available, and it protects defendants from being sued for decades-old claims.
Victims Deserve Full Compensation
If you or your family member was injured by a defective product in Washington, you are entitled to make a financial recovery for the full value of your losses. This compensation includes non-economic damages. Be aware, though, big companies and their insurers work aggressively to try to limit settlement offers.
At Kapuza Lighty, PLLC, our Yakima product liability lawyers may be able to help you get compensation for:
- Emergency medical care;
- Long-term medical treatment;
- Visits to specialists;
- Rehabilitative care;
- Disability coverage;
- Lost current and future income;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Disfigurement; and
- The wrongful death of a family member.
To collect the maximum compensation in a defective product lawsuit, you need a skilled Yakima defective product lawyer. Proving liability against the responsible parties is paramount to recovering compensation for your injuries.
Contact Our Yakima Defective Product Lawyers Today
At Kapuza Lighty, PLLC, our experienced Washington product liability attorneys are standing by, ready to fight for your rights. If you or a family member was injured by a defective product, please call our law firm today for a fully confidential consultation. With an office in Yakima, we handle defective product cases throughout Eastern Washington, including in Ellensburg, Wenatchee, Sunnyside, Prosser, Richland, Kennewick, Pasco, Moses Lake, and Spokane.