Product Liability Laws in Massachusetts
Product Liability Laws in Massachusetts
If you were harmed by a product because of how it was designed, built, handled before being sold to consumers, or even lacked proper warnings, you may be eligible for compensation. A product liability lawyer can represent you in cases for products including food products, appliances, industry products, and drugs and medical devices.
What Personal Injuries Are Covered Under Product Liability Laws?
Any kind of product that you purchase is expected to work in a safe manner. That means the product should have been designed, manufactured, and sold to uphold certain standards of safety for consumers.
When a product fails to do so, which results in injuries, you may be able to file a negligence lawsuit.
There are many ways that injuries can be a direct result of a product, including design defects, lack of warnings about the hazards of the product, and manufacturing defects.
How Are State Laws Different Regarding Product Liability?
Product liability laws are determined by the states, meaning the liability laws in Massachusetts may not be the same as the ones in California or even Connecticut.
In Massachusetts, if you sustained injuries as a direct result of using a product, you must prove that the product was defective or too dangerous for its intended purpose when it was distributed and sold.
Massachusetts Product Liability Law
The state of Massachusetts holds manufacturers legally responsible to ensure that their products are not defective or uncharacteristically dangerous. However, if you are injured by a product, you must prove that the merchant or manufacturer should be held responsible in order to receive compensation through the Massachusetts breach of warranty claim.
Massachusetts supports the following claims under their product liability laws:
- Design defect claims
- Manufacturing defect claims
- Failure to warn claims
In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death claims pertaining to product liability is 3 years. That means you must start your legal proceedings within this time period. You cannot begin a product liability lawsuit 5 years after the event that caused your injuries.
What Are Punitive Damages?
Cases, including product liability, in Massachusetts only allow punitive damages if a wrongful death is involved as a direct result of “malicious, willful, wanton, or reckless conduct of the defendant or by gross negligence of the defendant.”
In a product liability case, that means you would have to prove to the court that someone’s death was a direct result of a product that was not made up to safe, careful standards.
Most cases don’t qualify for punitive damages in the state of Massachusetts. However, there is no maximum award if the jury determines that the evidence was sufficient enough to support the case.
Compensatory vs. Punitive Damages
Compensatory and punitive damages are similar in the fact that they can help compensate the victim or victim’s family of a product liability injury case. But, the intent of punitive damages is to serve as a punishment for the person or company liable for the sustained injuries. Compensatory damages, on the other hand, are only meant to help compensate for injuries or loss.
Compensation can be used for medical costs, loss of income due to sustained injuries prohibiting you from work, and pain and suffering both emotionally and physically.
Seeking Representation from a Product Liability Attorney
Because there are several ways to proceed with a civil lawsuit regarding product liability, it is best to consult with a product liability attorney as soon as possible. They will know the best way to proceed based on your unique circumstance.
A product liability attorney can also prepare you for the defenses that the defendant might use in court. The most common defenses are:
• The claim was made outside the statute of limitations.
• Assumption of risk proves that the product is dangerous to begin with and the consumer should have had that understanding.
• The product was misused.
If your product liability attorney helps you prepare to face these defenses with additional supporting evidence to help your claim, you will have a stronger chance at receiving compensation for your injuries.
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