Daily Archives: April 11, 2016

Recent Jury Instructions provide Clarity in Personal Injury Lawsuits

In March of 2015, an opinion to adopt a new set of instructions for jurors in personal injury lawsuits, specifically those involving claims for defective products or product liability, was issued by the Supreme Court of Florida.  This issue began roughly 10 years ago when the Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases began revamping the instructions for jurors in these types of court actions.  However, the instructions for jurors of defective product / product liability cases were omitted with the approval of the first changes in 2010.

In 2012, a new set of revisions was proposed but it took another 3 years before the court adopted those newer changes to the instructions.  According to a number of different sources, the new instructions are better suited for capturing the law as it applies to personal injury cases involving product liability and adequate warnings.  For all intents and purposes In the state of Florida, a product that lacks adequate warnings can be classified as a defective product.  On the other hand, the old law for product liability only applied to defects in design and manufacturing.

Types of Claims in a Product Liability Case

With many consumers facing issues with the products they have bought, defective product/product liability cases can be extremely broad and complex, there are typically 3 categories that they fall under:

  • Defective design
  • Defective manufacture
  • Failure to provide adequate instructions or warnings

Depending on your case and the severity of your injuries, you’ll want to retain the legal services of a personal injury lawyer who specializes in defective product/product liability claims and cases.  Remember that the classification or definition of a defective product can be very broad and include anything from the brakes or tires on a vehicle to cribs or toys and just about everything in between. Thus, it is important that you work with a good lawyer.

Identifying Defendants in a Product Liability Claim

If you’ve recently been injured when you used a defective product and want to sue for compensation, you’ll need to identify the companies and individuals that may be liable so they can be named as the defendants in your claim and lawsuit.  Depending on the type of product, this can be a daunting task.  So seeking the legal assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer is usually the recommended course of action.  This will greatly increase your chances of receiving the compensation you are deserving of.

As a general rule, there could be several defendants in a product liability case with the 3 most common being the designer, manufacturer, and the retailer.  However, the chain of distribution could also include additional manufacturers who are responsible for different components in the product.  It could also include consultants, contractors, suppliers, and vendors.  Your personal injury attorney will be able to help you determine who is a defendant in your product liability case.