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Products liability case involves dispute over legal standard

When Virginia residents use products in their workplace and at home, they believe the products are safe or else they wouldn't be on the market. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Some products are only discovered to be unsafe or illness-causing after several years of use when the problems start showing up. Other products may normally be safe but may have a defect that causes the risk of illness or injury. Filing a lawsuit related to products that cause injury can be a way for injured plaintiffs to get compensation for the harm they suffered, but these cases are often quite complex.

A lawsuit against a company that made drilling additives containing asbestos is coming to a close, although Union Carbide, the company that made the additives, may still file a motion asking for review of an unfavorable ruling by the Mississippi Supreme Court. The plaintiff in the case, the wife of a now-deceased worker on petroleum drilling rigs, claims that the asbestos in the drilling additives caused her husband's lung cancer and resulting death.

In reinstating the $3.85 judgment for the plaintiff handed down by the jury, the Mississippi Supreme Court noted that the plaintiffs had to prove the elements of a design defective products liability claim in order to prevail instead of satisfying the frequency, regularity, and proximity test relied on by the trial judge.

The list of products that can cause harm is almost endless. Whether it is an automobile, a home appliance, a toy, or a prescription drug, a products liability lawsuit can help hold companies responsible for their negligence in design or manufacturing of a product. Some products may become dangerous because the company failed to provide adequate instructions for use or a proper warning of side effects or risks.

There are essentially three types of defective products cases. One type focuses on design defects. These kinds of defects affect every product made from a certain design. Manufacturing defects occur when the product is being manufactured and may only affect some of the products made. These defects could be due to variations in the quality of materials used or other elements of the manufacturing process.

Failure to warn is a third type of case when manufacturers fail to anticipate that consumers may use the product in a dangerous, unintended way that could cause injury. Virginia residents who have been injured by a product may want to consult with a products liability attorney to determine if they have a strong case against the company who made the product.

Source: Insurance Journal, "Mississippi Asbestos Ruling Throws Out Product Liability Standard," Jack Elliott Jr., Jan. 6, 2014

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