Product liability refers to civil cases in which a manufacturer or seller is held liable for a product defect that causes a consumer injury, illness, or property damage.
Product liability cases are surprisingly common, so it’s important to understand your rights as a Rhode Island consumer.
The initial consultation is always free and there are no obligations. Our legal team works on a contingent-fee basis, which means you don’t pay unless we win your case.
Product Injuries and Defective Products in Rhode Island
Injuries occur when an unsafe, defective or inappropriately labeled product is sold to consumers, resulting in illness, injury or death.
To minimize the harm caused to consumers, businesses have a responsibility to design, produce, and label all of their products according to industry standards, as well as state and federal regulations.
In fact, most products are part of an extensive distribution chain. When any part of the chain fails to uphold its responsibility to consumers, innocent people suffer harm and liable parties may be subject to a product liability lawsuit.
There are many commonly defective products, and it’s important to be aware of them as a consumer. Consumer goods commonly involved in product liability cases include:
- Household appliances
- Children’s toys
- Medical devices
- Prescription drugs
- Motor vehicles
- Automotive parts
Product Defects That Cause Injury
Generally speaking, product liability cases involve three types of defects. Specifically, these defects offer viable negligence claims under Rhode Island law:
- Design defect – a defect that occurs during the design/planning stage and before
- Manufacturing defect – a defect that occurs during the manufacturing process. A product with a manufacturing defect may have been designed properly to meet safety regulations, but mistakes in manufacturing caused the product to become defective or unsafe.
- Failure to warn – in this case, there may not be an actual defect in the product itself. However, labeling or marketing information may not supply adequate warning to ensure safe use by consumers.
Product liability cases are exceedingly complex. Among other things, the plaintiff must meet the following defect, causation, and injury criteria to file a claim in Rhode Island:
- Defect – the plaintiff must prove the product that caused the injury was defective
- Causation – the plaintiff must prove the injury was a direct result of the defect
- Injury – the plaintiff must prove he or she sustained actual damage (i.e., injury, financial loss, etc.)
Additionally, victims should be aware that in Rhode Island the time limit to initiate an injury claim is three years from the injury date. With only rare exceptions, claims made beyond this threshold are prohibited.
Aggressive Representation for Rhode Island Consumers
The product liability lawyers at Gemma Law have more than 40 years of experience handling a wide range of injury claims including product liability cases.
Our attorneys understand that substantial investigation is necessary to establish a viable defective product claim, and we empathize with the many ways an injury can impact an individual and their family.
Our team of dedicated attorneys will work tirelessly to ensure your rights are protected so that you and your family are not left in financial ruin because of a defective product.