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IL defective product lawyerIt is the responsibility of companies to maintain a standard of safety in the products for consumers. However, sometimes products make it to the market that are unsafe. While there are bad products that may not work or live up to expectations, but when it comes to a product liability lawsuit, it must be proven that a product caused harm in order to have a case.

What Is Product Liability?

Derived from Tort Law, as a product or material gets created and put on shelves for consumers, there is a chain of liability. If the negligence of a company leads to the harm of another person, then that manufacturer may be held responsible. There are three basic claims a person can make with a harmful defective product, design defect, manufacturing defect, or inadequate warnings.

Defective Design: When the design of a product is defective, then the whole consumer good is dangerous. This happens when designed products are not adequately tested for safety. While the product may serve the purpose it was created for, it is too dangerous to continue using. From 2006 to 2008, the magnetic toy sets from Mega Brands were recalled because of small pieces which were easily consumed by children. On top of a choking hazard, the magnets were also strong enough that if consumed, the magnets of the opposite charge would attract and cause further internal injuries. One child died, and 27 were injured due to the defective design of the toys.

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IL injury lawyerSustenance is essential to our survival, and when we purchase food from a grocery store or a meal from a restaurant we want to believe it is safe to consume. A faulty good from a department store may cause external physical harm, but negligence in food production can lead to severe illness and death.

Liability when it comes to food safety can take many forms. If a company has poor safety practices, then contamination can affect customers. Bacteria, like salmonella, can make people sick when incorporated into the food supply, or a foreign object can make its way to the final product. Companies in the past have also been held liable for not listing a warning on their products.

One of the most famous cases of the latter is Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants from 1994. Stella Liebeck was served a hot cup of coffee in a McDonald’s Restaurant drive through that resulted in third-degree burns to her lower body. The temperature of the cup of coffee was up to 40 degrees higher than other restaurants that serve coffee, or the average temperature of a cup of coffee from an at home coffee maker. Because of the high temperature, 700 others were also burned by hot beverages at McDonald’s. Although the cup did warn that the contents are hot, there was no warning about third-degree burns. Liebeck was awarded $2.7 Million in punitive damages and $160,000 for medical expenses.

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