The winter holiday season is a time of gift-giving, and that also means that product injuries could be on the rise as new customers open up and use their brand new gifts — some of which may be defective.
But what happens if you use a product in a way that the manufacturer didn’t intend — can you sue and recover damages from the manufacturer?
Let’s take a closer look!
In Alabama, a product is defective if it is unreasonably dangerous to the end-user. If you are injured by your use of a product, then you may be able to sue and recover damages from the product’s manufacturer, so long as the defective nature of the product is what caused your injuries.
Alabama law makes it somewhat easier to successfully establish liability, as you need not show that the manufacturer was “negligent” in creating the defective product — you need only show that the product was defective and that it caused an injury.
So, what happens if you are injured due to your use of a product — but your use of the product was not as “intended”? That’s an interesting issue that many prospective product defect plaintiffs run into.
In Alabama, as in other states, product defect liability can still be imposed on manufacturers if you — the user — has used the product in a way that was unintended by the manufacturer, so long as your use was “reasonably foreseeable.”
Whether your misuse was reasonably foreseeable depends on whether the manufacturer was aware that the particular misuse was common among consumers, whether they knew that the particular misuse would lead to the product being defective, and whether they warned users of the risks of such misuse.
This may seem a bit confusing, so let’s use an example to clarify.
Suppose that you receive a blender gift from a relative for Christmas. The blender is meant to be used for blending soft items, but you use unripened, whole fruits, and hard seeds. As a result, the blades crack and shatter the glass, causing you to suffer injuries. If you sue the manufacturer, you could argue that your use — though unintended — was reasonably foreseeable given that other customers were also blending seeds and other hard items, and the manufacturer was aware of that. The manufacturer may also not have included any warnings as to those risks.
Under these circumstances, the use might have been reasonably foreseeable, and the product was arguably defective for that reasonably foreseeable use.
If you’ve been injured due to a defective product, then you may be entitled to significant damages under Alabama law. Pursuing an injury claim against a product manufacturer can be frightening, and somewhat overwhelming — we’re here to help.
At Cross & Smith, our attorneys boast decades of experience working with a wide range of plaintiffs, including those who have suffered serious injuries due to their use of a defective product. We understand just how confusing it can be for first-time plaintiffs to navigate the litigation process, and are committed to upholding transparency and providing guidance at every phase of the litigation process.
Ready to speak to an experienced Tuscaloosa injury attorney? Call us at 877-791-0618 or send us a message online to schedule a free and confidential consultation.
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Posted By: Mark Sterling Gober