Learning the Two Common Grounds in a Product Liability Lawsuit

31/08/2013 06:08
A product liability lawsuit may have a far-reaching impact on any company which may even put its very existence into jeopardy, experts say, citing various cases recorded through the years. Lost sales, indemnities for its injured consumers, and even the huge expenses associated with litigation have been known to put a tremendous strain on its financial well-being. A good example of this would be the C.R. Bard who is facing thousands of vaginal mesh lawsuits right now and who has been reported to experience a significant drop in profits for the first quarter of the year.
Due to its critical effect on a business entity’s financial health, laws have also been put in place to give equal protection to the consumer and the manufacturer. Complainants in any liability lawsuit must convince the jury that there was indeed a defect or fault on the part of the defendant.
In convincing the jury, plaintiff must show that the manufacturer is guilty on different grounds, which may include these two very common “defects”:
Design Defect
The plaintiff may decide, in proving her allegations, that there was a defect in the design which could have been avoided by using a reasonable alternative design. This design flaw should be one which is inherently dangerous and may be considered a proximate cause of the injuries suffered by a consumer. In the recent Donna Cisson lawsuit against C.R. Bard, lawyers of the plaintiff stressed that the design of the Avaulta vaginal mesh was defective when it insisted on using a material that the supplier earlier warned should not be implanted on human beings.
Failure to Warn
A company may be considered guilty of failing to warn when it failed to provide warnings or instructions about possible risks associated with the use of its product when it could have done so. These manufacturers or sellers become liable when they fail to warn of risks they knew or should have known about. These warnings could have made the consumer aware of the risks and would have allowed them to make a better decision regarding the use of the product.
In the vaginal mesh lawsuit filed against C.R. Bard, plaintiffs have alleged that Bard was aware of the risks involved with the use of the Avaulta mesh device, yet these risks were not included in the product information to make both the healthcare provider and patient aware of these risks. Previous studies conducted by the firm have validated these risks, according to the lawyers of Cisson.
Lawyers of the plaintiff in the recent bellwether case heard in West Virginia highlighted these two defects which they believed were supported by strong evidences and which the jury also gave weight in their decision. With more Avaulta vaginal mesh lawsuits expected to be filed, it may not be a surprise when these two defects will be given more emphasis by the plaintiffs.