When a Children’s Product Causes Harm

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Personal Injury Lawyer

If your child has recently been injured or made ill by something that you’ve purchased or were gifted, you may—very understandably—have questions about your legal options. There are few things in life that are as maddening as watching a child suffer as a result of a situation that should have been prevented. Thankfully, seeking legal guidance concerning your rights and options under the law is a very constructive way to process this unreasonably challenging situation that your family is currently navigating.

As an experienced personal injury lawyer – including those who practice at David & Philpot, P.L. – can confirm, the parents of children who have been harmed as a result of consumer products, medication, and even food are often in a position to seek damages from manufacturers and/or others in the supply chain. Sometimes, these cases are brought under the traditional personal injury model, whereas other cases may be brought under a legal theory known as strict liability.

Why Legal Theory Matters in Children’s Product Cases

In most personal injury cases, the party filing the claim in court must generally prove four legal elements in order to succeed. First, they must prove that the named defendant (a manufacturer or other party in the supply chain, in this scenario) owed the injured party a duty of care under the law. This element isn’t usually too difficult to prove in products liability cases, as all companies in the supply chain are required to adhere to certain safety standards in re: consumers by law. Second, the injured party must prove that the defendant engaged in reckless, negligent, or intentionally harmful conduct. Third, it must be proven that the conduct in question directly contributed to the cause(s) of the injuries sustained by the plaintiff. Finally, it must be proven that the plaintiff suffered damages as a result of their injuries. Damages may be specific (medical bills, loss of earnings, etc.) and/or non-specific (pain and suffering, etc.) in nature.

Strict liability cases are different. There are only a few kinds of personal injury claims that may be considered per a strict liability standard and some products cases are among these few. In a strict liability case, the defendant may be held accountable for harm even if they did not engage in negligent, reckless, or intentionally harmful conduct. This is just one of the many reasons why it is important for victims of product-related injuries to explore their legal options. They may be entitled to compensation even if the manufacturer of the dangerous or defective product wasn’t aware that they were doing anything wrong.