If you have been injured by a product you used, you may be entitled to recover money damages from the manufacturer (and, in some instances, the seller or distributor) of the product. In Georgia, these claims are generally referred to as product liability claims, and fall into one of three categories. The Athens Injury Law Group’s product liability attorneys have litigated cases involving each of these categories of claims. Our lawyers will consult with you to determine whether you have a valid product liability claim, and we have the experience and resources necessary to achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
One of the three categories of product liability claims involves manufacturing defects. If a product has been defectively manufactured, it is flawed because of something that happened while it was being made. In a Georgia manufacturing defect case, there is an assumption that the design of the product is safe, and that any product manufactured in accordance with such design would have been safe for consumer use. The manufacturing defect can be shown by comparing the product at issue in the case with a properly manufactured unit from the same product line.
The second type of product liability claim arises when a product’s design is unreasonably dangerous (i.e., defective). Defective design claims do not involve errors or mishaps during the manufacturing process. Instead, they involve claims that, because of the way it has been designed, an entire line of products is unsafe for consumers. These cases tend to be more complicated and more costly than those involving manufacturing defects. This is because, unlike in manufacturing defect cases, where the product at issue can be compared to a product known to have been manufactured according to the design specifications, there is no clear, objective measure of the product’s defectiveness. Georgia courts must instead employ a highly subjective risk-utility balancing analysis to determine whether a product has been defectively designed. Under this balancing test, the risks inherent in a product’s design are weighed against the utility (or benefit) derived from the product. The more utility a product provides its user, the more inherently dangerous it can be before it is deemed to be defective.
Another important distinction between manufacturing defect claims and design defect claims in Georgia is that product manufacturers are held strictly liable for manufacturing defects that cause injuries, whereas they will not be held liable for defectively designed products that cause injuries unless they acted negligently (i.e., unreasonably). In other words, a company will only be held liable for a defectively designed product where it is shown that the company did not exercise reasonable care in designing the product to make the product reasonably safe for its intended or foreseeable uses.
The third type of product liability claim involves a failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions to users of the product. These failure-to-warn claims typically arise in situations where the product is dangerous in such a way that it is not obvious to those using it, or some kind of special precautions or diligence should be observed while doing so. Where a duty to warn arises, it can be breached either by failing to communicate the warning to the ultimate user adequately or by failing to provide an adequate warning of the product’s potential risk or harm.
In these cases, a seller or distributor of the product may also have a duty to warn of dangers to users at the time the product is sold—but this is only true when the manufacturer has failed to provide such a warning. In other words, a seller of a product in Georgia has no duty to warn of a danger that the manufacturer has already printed on the product itself. Under Georgia law, a seller is only required to supplement a manufacturer’s warning regarding a product when it is aware of a danger either not communicated by the manufacturer’s warning or substantively different from the dangers the manufacturer has included in a warning label.
Get Help From an Athens Personal Injury Attorney Today
If a defective product has injured you or someone in your family, you need to consult with an experienced product liability attorney as soon as possible. The Athens Injury Law Group’s team of dedicated personal injury lawyers are ready to help you. Contact us now at 706-559-0159 or fill out the form on this page for a free consultation.