Defective Product lawsuits - The Basics


Most people know that manufacturers are responsible for making the products they sell safe for consumers to use. Engines, appliances, tires, ladders, water heaters – all should be crafted so that proper or reasonable use of these products will not cause injury. In the event that an accident does occur, a lawyer will investigate to see if there was a defect in the design or construction of the product or if it came with adequate warnings and instructions.

Defective product lawsuits are usually complex and well-defended by the attorneys representing large manufacturers. As an example, Cunningham Bounds brought a case against Caterpillar, a global manufacturer of diesel engines, for injuries caused by one of their engines. When the company designed the engine, they left out a critical piece resulting in an explosion at Bender shipyard in Mobile (46MM settlement by Caterpillar). The company was represented by an excellent team of lawyers and the evidence at issue was quite technical. To win that case Cunningham Bounds hired multiple experts who studied the forensic evidence and determined that the failure was caused by a missing oil plug, which was the size of a nickel in an engine that was the size of a small truck. Cunningham Bounds took the testimony of over 40 witnesses from all around the country and examined thousands of documents. At the conclusion of the investigation, the firm put all the evidence together in the animation which illustrated exactly what happened during the explosion. Right before trial, Caterpillar settled the case for $46 million.

These unsafe product cases are important to our clients individually and to the public in general because they ensure accidents aren’t repeated. If a person has been injured in a product-related incident, it is critical that they seek counsel from a firm that has the technical resources to investigate and prepare the case but also the caliber of trial lawyers who can combat the manufacturer’s defense team.

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