There are broad consumer protection laws in the United States. When a consumer is injured through the proper use of a product, that consumer may be able to seek compensation for his or her injuries. In these cases, product liability laws apply. Product liability law encompasses instances in which injuries result from the use of a product that is unsafe due to its design, the way it was manufactured, or the way it was sold, marketed, or furnished to the injured party.
Products liability cases include the purchase of cars, construction materials, machinery, medical equipment, real estate, foods, and beverages, as well as intangibles such as electricity. Manufacturers and sellers of goods have a duty to compensate for any injury caused by a faulty product that is sold on the market. This means that an injured consumer can take legal action against the entity that designed, manufactured, sold, or furnished the unsafe product.
When a sufficiently large number of people are injured by a faulty or defective product, the entire group’s legal claims may be pursued through a “class action” lawsuit. A class action lawsuit allows multiple people to litigate their claim as one. A class can be created if many people have suffered similar injuries by using the defective product. Drug injuries are one common example of that. However, in order to move forward with a class action lawsuit, the class has to be certified by the court. In order to be certified, the class must have the following four qualities:
- Numerosity: this refers to the requirement that the class must be made up of a sufficient number of claimants. In other words, there must be so many people in the class that joinder of all members would not be practicable.
- Adequacy: this requirement mandates that one person be identified as a representative of the class. The representative must exemplify the legal interests of the other class members.
- Commonality: commonality demands that there be questions of law or fact common to the class. There needs to be only one issue common to all members of the class for this requirement to be met.
- Typicality: at a minimum, typicality requires that the claims or defenses of the representative parties must be typical of the claims or defenses of the class. Put another way, the class representative must have the same interest and suffer the same injury as other class members.
Once the class is certified, there are additional steps that must be taken before the litigation can begin.
Robert Dixon is a highly skilled Miami product liability attorney who understands the nuances of products liability law. Our firm has helped numerous South Florida clients resolve their injury claims. We understand that this is a stressful time for you and your family, which is why we are here to help. You can expect the utmost respect and compassion from our entire team. We offer all of our prospective clients a free, initial consultation. To learn more about your rights and options, do not hesitate to contact us online or call us today at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) for a free, confidential consultation.
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Causation Required for Compensation in Negligence Claims – Schwartz v. Wal-Mart, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, February 26, 2015