When a manufacturer places a defective product on the market, they put consumers at risk of serious harm. If a person suffers injuries from a defective product, he or she may bring a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer. When a manufacturer realizes their products have caused harm, they can and should announce a product recall to prevent further harm.
For example, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in Bethesda, Maryland, Fisher-Price has reannounced its recall of 4.7 million Rock ‘n Play infant sleepers. Fisher-Price originally announced the recall in 2019 after over 30 infant fatalities occurred in the sleepers. These fatalities often happened when infants placed in the sleepers would roll from their backs to their stomachs or side without proper restraints. Sadly, since the recall, there have been 70 additional fatalities. In total, 100 infant deaths occurred. Fisher-Price’s re-announcement of the recall comes after reports that at least eight infants died after the initial 2019 recall.
What Are the Elements of a Maryland Product Liability Lawsuit?
An injured plaintiff suing a product manufacturer should understand the elements of a negligence vs. strict liability theory of recovery. Plaintiffs can bring a negligence lawsuit if the defendants who caused their injuries acted carelessly—or if they were careless by failing to act. To succeed in a negligence claim, plaintiffs must prove the defendants owed them a duty of care, breached that duty by acting carelessly or failing to act, caused the plaintiffs’ injuries through their carelessness, and that the plaintiffs suffered resultant harm. When suing a manufacturer for negligence, plaintiffs must prove the manufacturer owed them a duty of care to manufacture their products safely and failed to meet that duty.
On the other hand, plaintiffs can sue product manufacturers on a strict liability theory. The elements of a strict liability claim differ from negligence claims. To recover on a strict liability claim in Maryland, a plaintiff must show that 1) the product was defective at the time it left the manufacturer or seller; 2) the product was unreasonably dangerous to its users; 3) the defect caused the plaintiff’s injuries (similar to a negligence claim); and 4) that the manufacturer or seller expected the product to reach the plaintiff, and did, in fact, reach the plaintiff, without a substantial change in its condition. Unlike a negligence claim, the plaintiff does not need to show that the manufacturer was careless. Instead, the manufacturer is liable for making a defective product that harmed the plaintiff. An experienced Maryland personal injury attorney can help you choose the best legal strategy to hold manufacturers accountable.
Do You Need a Maryland Product Liability Attorney?
If you or a loved one has suffered harm from a defective product, contact the dedicated personal injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen for assistance. Our firm has years of experience fighting for consumers in court and holding manufacturers responsible for defective products. We proudly serve clients in Prince George’s, Charles, Baltimore, and Montgomery County. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our team, contact our office at 800-654-1949 or reach out through our website.