Fatalities Caused by Defective Products
Wrongful Death Attorneys Representing Families in Boston and Beyond
There are many different rules and standards that apply to how companies must design the thousands of products that surround us in our daily lives. Many of these rules are geared toward ensuring user safety. Unfortunately, not all companies get it right when it comes to designing or manufacturing a safe product. This can lead to devastating accidents and even fatalities in the worst cases. There are many hazards that may be associated with a dangerous product, including burns, electrocutions, choking hazards, and malfunctioning safety gear. While a product-related injury can be difficult enough, losing a loved one as a result of an improperly designed or manufactured product can be devastating. Regardless of the manner in which a fatality caused by a defective product happened, the Boston wrongful death lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck are prepared to help your family assert your legal rights during this traumatic time.
Common Situations Involving Fatalities Caused by Defective Products
A product defect can involve virtually any consumer item, from motorcycles to household appliances. Some products can be safe if they are used correctly, but a manufacturer may fail to provide an important warning regarding the potential harm that can result from unsafe use. Other products may have hidden dangers or defects that can create serious hazards. This could include a hazard resulting from the overall design of the product, or a hazard resulting from a defect in the specific product’s manufacturing process. Some examples of products that have been highlighted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission include airbags that fail to deploy or that deploy improperly, SUVs that are prone to rollover accidents, household appliances and furniture that are top-heavy and prone to tipping, carbon monoxide poisoning resulting from faulty warning devices, and medications with improper warnings and usage labels. If a product malfunction was involved in your loved one’s death, it is critical that you explore whether the maker and manufacturer of that product is liable.
Bringing a Wrongful Death Claim in Massachusetts
If a loved one suffers a fatality caused by a defective product, our attorneys can bring a wrongful death claim against the person or company responsible for the accident. Massachusetts law requires the personal representative of the estate of your loved one to bring the action on behalf of the decedent’s estate. In the wrongful death action, we must show that the defendant is liable for the victim’s death through a product liability cause of action.
There are certain elements in a product liability cause of action. First, the company that sold the product must be a recognized merchant, meaning a person or a company that normally sells products of this specific type. Second, the product must have been sold or leased. Third, the victim or person using the product must have been using the product in a foreseeable manner. Next, the product must have contained a defect that rendered it unreasonably dangerous. Proof of these claims often requires testimony from an expert witness who can explain the dangerous nature of the product. Finally, the victim’s death must be a direct result of the dangerous nature of the product.
If our attorneys are successful in establishing each of these elements, the estate is entitled to recover compensation for funeral expenses, the victim’s conscious pain and suffering, and the loss of the future earnings of the victim. The surviving relatives can also seek compensation for the loss of their loved one’s companionship and consortium. In some cases, punitive damages may be available, although this is not typical.
Schedule a Consultation with a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Boston
We know that nothing can truly make your family whole again after a sudden and devastating loss. Our team has handled wrongful death cases on behalf of families in cities such as Boston, Cambridge, Waltham, Lowell, Newton, Somerville, Quincy, Dedham, Norwood, Brookline, Attleboro, Barnstable, Brockton, Plymouth, Worcester, Lawrence, and Springfield. This means that we have witnessed how devastating and disruptive a fatal accident can be for a family. We will work diligently to ensure that your legal rights are protected and that you receive the full settlement or judgment to which you are entitled for your loss. To schedule a free consultation, call us now at 1-800-379-1244 or contact us online to get started.