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Collecting Damages in Product Liability Cases
Defective products cause serious injuries every year. These people deserve compensation, but sometimes getting what’s fair in these cases is hard. Large companies will be against you, but KNR knows how to recover what’s right for things like your pain and suffering, lost wages, and future treatment.
Every year throughout the United States, defective products like toys, personal care items, and medical devices cause serious injuries to thousands of consumers.
Fortunately, the individuals and families who suffer such losses are entitled to compensation under Ohio’s product liability laws. And while there are certain damages awarded in product liability cases, it usually takes an experienced personal injury lawyer to recover what you deserve from those responsible.
If you suffered because of a faulty or defective product, the Ohio personal injury attorneys at Kisling, Nestico & Redick have extensive experience and a history of success in product liability cases. Let us help recover any and all damages to which are entitled.
Types of Product Liability Damages
The majority of product liability and defective product lawsuits involve negligence or a strict liability notion. As a result, damages in product liability cases often include compensatory damages. Specifically, compensatory damages compensate the injured party for the losses associated with the defective product.
On the other hand, punitive damages are usually not available in product liability or defective product claims. These damages typically require purposeful or malicious intent to harm.
Defective products usually involve strict liability or negligence. This means the defendant was not acting with a purposeful intention to harm another person.
Product Liability: Compensatory Damages
Compensatory damages include both economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses can be equated to a dollar value, but non-economic losses are more difficult to determine.
The following losses may be covered by the economic damages awarded in a defective products claim:
- Medical Expenses– Medicine and pharmaceutical bills, doctor and hospital bills, or physical therapy costs.
- Lost Income– Income lost due to missed work and/or lost revenue and profits.
- Disability Costs– Costs incurred due to disability.
- Property Damage– Certain defective products can also cause property damage.
Sometimes referred to as general damages or non-monetary losses, non-economic losses are not as common as economic damages due to the difficulty in determining their amounts.
Non-economic losses usually include:
- Pain and Suffering– Any suffering, pain, anguish, or forfeiture of enjoyment resulting from the injuries sustained. The damages provided for these losses can be quite significant and may be issued to the plaintiff in installments over a lengthy period of time.
- Permanent Disfigurement– Severe scarring on a part or parts of the body which can hinder the person in various ways and also cause significant pain.
- Loss of Consortium– The negative effects and consequences on the relationship you have with your spouse due to the injuries you have suffered. Damages awarded can include loss of companionship, affection, and support.
Product liability cases may cover both economic and non-economic losses.
Product Liability: Punitive Damages
Ohio does not allow punitive damages against suppliers or manufacturers unless you can demonstrate that the supplier or manufacturer demonstrated a “flagrant disregard” for the safety of persons whom the product might harm.
The judge or jury in a product liability case is responsible for determining if the manufacturer or supplier exhibited a flagrant disregard.
To establish flagrant disregard and award punitive damages in a product liability case, the court may consider:
- Was the manufacturer or supplier aware of the potential for serious harm?
- The probability that serious harm would result
- The profitability, if any, for the manufacturer or supplier to participate in the misconduct
- Any attempts by the manufacturer or supplier to conceal the misconduct
- The length of time of the misconduct
- How the manufacturer or supplier responded to/behaved when the misconduct was uncovered
- Whether the manufacturer or supplier terminated its misconduct after it was revealed
Limits on Recoverable Damages
In Ohio, product liability laws limit the potential damages one can recover. This refers to the modified comparative fault standard. Under this standard, parties are assigned a relative responsibility for their injuries.
To qualify for recoverable damages, the injured party may not be greater than 50% responsible. If both parties are equally responsible for the injury, damages may be awarded.
Under Ohio product liability law, there is no limit on the economic compensatory damages. However there is a limit on non-economic damages – specifically, $250,000 or three times the economic loss (whichever is greater), with a maximum of $500,000 for each occurrence or $350,000 for each plaintiff.
Product Liability: Statute of Limitations
Product liability in Ohio generally requires you to file within two years of the injury-causing incident. Some exceptions to this rule do exist.
One exception is the time it took to discover the injury. Not all product failures that cause damage or injury t are immediately recognizable. Therefore, the statute of limitations in Ohio does not start until the date you knew or should have reasonably known of the injury, and that it was likely caused by the product.
The statute of limitations on product liability claims related to construction is 10 years and is referred to as the statute of repose. This longer timeframe considers the fact that many construction defects are not readily identifiable at the time of construction and do not manifest until years later.
Contact KNR to Discuss Possible Priduct Liability Damages
At Kisling, Nestico & Redick, we have extensive experience helping our clients recover damages in product liability cases. Our team of Ohio product liability attorneys can help you evaluate what you are entitled to, and how to best recover compensation for any losses you incurred because of a defective product.
Contact us today at 1-800-HURT-NOW to arrange a free, no obligation consultation.