Consumer products touch nearly every aspect of our daily lives, whether at home, work, during leisure or in transit. We use all sorts of manufactured goods with little thought as to the dangers they might pose.
Unfortunately, defective products result in serious injuries or death for thousands of Americans each year. Companies that design, produce and sell products have an obligation to make them safe or warn about any inherent dangers. When they fail to do so, they must compensate the victims of their defective products.
Our South Carolina defective products attorneys at Joye Law Firm have nearly 250 years of combined litigation experience and are committed to helping people who have suffered a life-changing injury because of unsafe products. We can help you get the compensation you deserve if a defective product is to blame for your injuries.
Contact Our Defective Products Lawyers Today
Our South Carolina product liability attorneys at Joye Law Firm can help you through the confusion and strain that follow a serious injury. Respect, compassion and care are what you can expect from our lawyers and staff. Since 1968 we have helped injured people like you recover not just the money they are entitled to, but also their lives.
Let us help you too. Call Joye Law Firm. You can reach us at (877) 936-9707 or fill out an online form for a free case review.
Joye Law Firm has offices in Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Clinton, and Columbia, but our defective products attorneys are ready to take care of your case anywhere in South Carolina. We represent clients all over the state, including Florence, Richland County, Orangeburg, Columbia, Horry County (including Conway and North Myrtle Beach), North Charleston, Mount Pleasant and Summerville.
Our personal injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm have received an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, and several have been recognized as Super Lawyers.
Our defective products lawyers have a track record of getting results for our clients, including a $262.5 million verdict for the family of a deceased child in an automotive product liability claim, a $7 million settlement for a woman who was paralyzed due to a defective door latch, a $5 million settlement for the family of a woman who was killed due to a defective door latch, a $3.5 million settlement for the family of a child killed because of a defective auto, a $2.5 million settlement for a man who was paralyzed due to a car’s roof crush defect, a $2.3 million settlement for a man who lost his arm due to unguarded industrial machinery and a $1.4 million settlement for a worker who suffered crush injuries due to defective equipment.
While every case is different, and past results are in no way intended to imply that a similar result can be obtained in a future case, past results obtained by a law firm are an indication of the firm’s experience when it comes to serious injury and wrongful death cases. For more details about the results obtained for previous Joye Law Firm clients, please click on the Results tab on our home page.
About South Carolina Defective Products Lawsuits
Some companies put profits before people’s safety, and they rush products to market without performing sufficient safety tests or they choose less expensive — and less safe — design alternatives. In other instances, manufacturers’ production lines might lack the necessary quality controls, allowing dangerously defective products to make it to the marketplace.
There are other products that are inherently unsafe but useful — think of power tools or lawn mowers — but they are “defective” because the manufacturer fails to warn about the dangers posed or fails to provide complete instructions on how to use the item safely.
Those are examples of the three main types of defective products that result in products liability lawsuits:
- Defective design — A product that is inherently unsafe because of the way it was designed, and not due to any defect in the manufacturing process.
- Manufacturing defect — Although the product as designed would be reasonably safe, there was some flaw during the manufacturing process that caused the affected units to be dangerous. Other products of the same design but lacking the manufacturing defect are reasonably safe.
- Failure to warn — This is an issue when a product is inherently unsafe because those dangerous characteristics are precisely what make the product useful. Liability arises when the manufacturer or other parties in the chain fail to properly warn the consumer or end-user about the dangers posed or fail to give proper instructions on how to use the product safely.
When a consumer or end-user suffers an injury because of a product defect, South Carolina law allows them to sue for damages. A defective products lawsuit can be brought against the manufacturer, wholesaler and the retailer that sold the item. Under South Carolina law, manufacturers and sellers of defective products are held strictly liable for damages and injuries caused by the product’s defect.
In any defective product lawsuit, it is key to establish that the defect was the source of the person’s injury. It is very important to preserve the product in question in the condition it was in when the accident occurred. It is also frequently necessary to have experts inspect the product to detail how it should have been made safer. The attorneys at Joye Law Firm have the resources to assist you with this type of expert analysis.
South Carolina law also requires you to bring a defective product lawsuit within three years of the date of the injury.
Items Commonly Involved in Defective Products Lawsuits
Although a defect in virtually any kind of product can lead to serious injuries, there are several categories that are more frequently the subject of a product liability lawsuit. Examples include:
- Pharmaceuticals, both prescription and over-the-counter
- Motor vehicles
- Medical devices, including hip and breast implants
- Children’s products, including toys, cribs, car seats and strollers
- Heavy machinery
- Power tools
- Household appliances
- Construction materials, like Chinese drywall
- Electrical devices
- Recreational vehicles, such as bicycles and ATVs
Who Can Be Held Liable in a South Carolina Defective Product Lawsuit?
While many people automatically blame the manufacturer for a product’s defects, there are actually several entities that may be held liable for injuries sustained from a defective product. Unfortunately, depending on the exact product involved, it can be difficult to properly identify all of the parties that may be held liable. However, at Joye Law Firm, our South Carolina defective products attorneys take the time to gather the necessary evidence surrounding your case to ensure that you file a claim against all potentially liable individuals, and to increase the likelihood of a full recovery for your injuries.
Typically, the best way to achieve the best outcome to your defective liability lawsuit is to identify all of the parties involved in the creation, distribution, and marketing of the product. This is commonly referred to as the Chain of Distribution. The following are the types of entities typically involved in the chain of distribution of a product:
- Manufacturer: The manufacturer is at the head of the chain of distribution, and therefore is the first likely liable candidate for a defective product lawsuit. There can be more than one manufacturer held responsible for your injuries though. For instance, if the defective product is a part of a larger product – such a phone battery that catches fire if charged for too long – then you would sue both the manufacturer of the phone and the manufacturer of the battery.
Additionally, if you suspect that additional parties were involved in creating the defective device—such as the phone designer and an outside consultant or contractor for the device—then be sure to include them in your claim along with the manufacture(s).
In the instance of the battery that catches fire, you would sue 1) the manufacturer of the phone, 2) the manufacturer of the battery, 3) the quality control team responsible for testing and approving the final product, and 4) the designer. If you suspect that the accident could have been avoided with adequate warning, you could also file a claim against the technical experts responsible for creating the instructions and written warnings for the device.
- Retailer: In addition to suing the manufacturer and related parties, you may also be able to file a defective product claim against the retailer who sold you the product. Though any injuries sustained from a defective product are not necessarily the fault of the retailer, you may be able to sue them simply for selling you a defective product. If you are considering suing the retailer as well as the manufacturer, keep in mind the following:
- You do not have to be the buyer to sue;
- You do not have to be the product user to sue – you just need to have been injured when the product was in use; and
- You may be able to recover damages for used products.
- Wholesaler or Distributor: Finally, you may be able to sue any other “middlemen” in the chain of distribution, including wholesalers and distributors. Again, while your injuries may not necessarily be their fault, every person in the chain of distribution of a defective product has affected responsibility simply by being involved with the defective product in the first place.
Proving Liability in a South Carolina Defective Product Case
Typically, in order to hold someone liable for your injuries, you must prove that they were negligent in some manner, and that their negligence resulted in your injuries. However, when dealing with a defective product, it can be extremely difficult – not to mention expensive – for a single individual to show how and when a manufacturer was negligent in the making if their product.
Furthermore, if a consumer hopes to file a claim against the seller or distributor, they must prove that the seller or distributor did not have an effective system in place for checking the products they sold. However, even if the seller or distributor did have an effective system in place, they cannot be expected to test each and every product that comes through their store.
Finally, a consumer cannot be expected to test every product that they purchase before they purchase it. Not only would this be difficult to do, but also, most sellers would not allow it.
For all of these reasons, the law has established what is known as “strict liability,” which basically allows an injured individual to sue a manufacturer, retailer, or distributor simply on the grounds that they were injured by the product. The plaintiff need not prove negligence.
The rules of strict liability are as follows:
- The product had an unreasonably dangerous defect that resulted in injury to the consumer;
- The defect caused an injury while the product was being used in a way that it was intended to be used; and
- The product had not been substantially changed from its original condition.
However, just because you need only prove that you were injured by a defective product does not mean that you should attempt to file a claim on your own. Again, a South Carolina defective products lawyer can help you evaluate the evidence surrounding your claim, identify all possible liable parties, and fight to ensure that you receive the full amount of damages that you deserve.
Contact Our South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Today
If you’ve been seriously injured in a South Carolina accident caused by a defective product, you can trust our attorneys to work to get you the money and benefits you are entitled to.
Call Joye Law Firm at (877) 936-9707 or fill out our free online case evaluation form.