Consumer Products & Drugs Aren’t Always as Safe as You Assume. But They Should Be.
Every commercial transaction involves an element of trust.
When you go the store, for example, you trust that the building will be safe to shop in — and that the products you buy will be safe to use.
Similarly, when you fill a prescription at your pharmacy, you trust that your doctor has prescribed the medication carefully, that the pharmacist has supplied it correctly, and that the drug itself will help you get better — not cause you to get worse.
If you have been unexpectedly injured by a defective or dangerous product in West Virginia, the companies responsible for that product have violated your trust.
More to the point, they might have violated state and/or federal law.
The State of West Virginia recognizes the trust that consumers place in the products they buy.
Accordingly, the personal injury laws in our state protect that trust, and in many cases, West Virginia allows consumers to recover financial compensation for injuries caused by defective products or harmful medications.
Similarly, federal law closely regulates the manufacture, distribution, marketing and selling of products and drugs across state lines. Because many products in the American economy are connected to more than one state, victims of defective products in West Virginia may have additional rights under federal law.
Unfortunately, making a claim for compensation after a product-related injury can be challenging. More often than not, consumer products come from large and powerful corporations.
If you or someone you love has been injured because of a defective product or dangerous drug, you might feel overwhelmed by the prospect of taking on these “giants of industry,” which have whole armies of lawyers by their side. (Even small-business manufacturers tend to carry insurance policies with enormous, nationwide corporations, meaning the insurers send in their lawyers.)
But with the help of an experienced West Virginia products liability lawyer, you can level the playing field. At Colombo Law, we’ve spent many years challenging manufacturers, insurers, pharmaceutical companies, and other corporations — both big and small — to get our injured clients the robust justice they deserve.
In this article, we explain some of the most common issues in products liability cases in West Virginia (and how a lawyer can help).
What Is Products Liability?
The term products liability refers to the area of law that governs a consumer’s rights after being injured by a defective product or dangerous pharmaceutical drug.
It is sometimes referred to in the singular (i.e. “product liability”) and is generally considered to be a subset of personal injury law (also known as tort law).
Every state has its own products liability rules. Fortunately, the laws in West Virginia are highly protective of consumers. As attorneys, we make the most of such provisions by vigorously and aggressively advocating for our clients’ full rights under state and federal law.
There is a lot to know about products liability in West Virginia. The information in this article is a starting point, but we encourage you to contact our office to discuss the particulars of your situation.
Products Most Frequently Associated with Dangerous Defects in WV
Consumer products touch nearly every aspect of your life. It is impossible to create a comprehensive list of all the products that might cause you injury.
However, some categories of products are associated with higher rates of injury. We list those categories below, along with the most common examples of defective products within each.
This is not a comprehensive list. Almost any product or medication that causes injury or death to you, your child, or a loved one (or causes illness / makes the illness worse) could give rise to a products liability claim in West Virginia.
Vehicles: Defective Parts and Accessories
- The vehicle as a whole (i.e., a “lemon”)
- Gas Tanks
- Door locks/windows
- Other vehicle defects
Dangerous Medications & Pharmaceuticals
- Prescription drugs
- Over-the-counter drugs
- Medications that fail to work
- Medications that cause dangerous or debilitating side effects
- Medications that cause harmful interactions
- Medications that cause overdose due to defective manufacturing
- Medications that lead to death
Defective Medical Devices
- Hip replacements
- Vaginal mesh / transvaginal mesh
- Blood clot filters
- NuvaRing / birth control devices
- Surgical robotic devices
- Defective imaging devices leading to missed diagnosis
- Defects in lasers, scopes, machinery, and other products used to perform surgery or other medical procedures
Defective Medical Accessories
- Mobility devices
- Other medical accessories
Defective/Dangerous Child Care & Baby Products
- Toys (choking hazards, lead poisoning, dangerous defects, etc.)
- Defective child safety seats
- Defective cribs
- Toxic exposure
- Falling furniture
Defective/Dangerous Household Products
- Cleaning products & household chemicals
- Ointments and self-care products
- Tools/home improvement products
- Lawn care products
- Small appliances
- Large appliances
Other Common Products in Injury Cases
- Firearms (guns and other weapons)
- Packaged food products
Who’s Liable for an Injury Caused by a Product or Medication?
Depending on the facts and circumstances, you may be able to bring a claim against any of the following parties after an injury from dangerous or defective products in West Virginia:
- Warranty providers
- Insurance companies
Some products liability cases may also involve elements of premises liability, medical malpractice, workers compensation, or other areas of personal injury law.
What Is the Law on Products Liability in West Virginia?
Under West Virginia law, depending on the circumstances of the injury, you may be able to recover for a company’s negligence relating to:
- Defective product design
- Defective manufacture
- Failure to adequately label a product
- Failure to adequately instruct the consumer on safe usage/consumption
- Failure to adequately warn the consumer about the risks or potential dangers
- Marketing the product in a way that makes dangerous use of the product more likely (e.g., misrepresenting a product or its safety)
- Breach of express warranty
- Breach of implied warranty
In some cases, though not all, the manufacturer is held to a strict liability standard. In these cases, the company is liable for your damages even if the company was not negligent in any way.
An experienced West Virginia products liability lawyer at Colombo Law can help you determine whether strict liability might apply in your situation, as well as how much compensation you might be able to claim.
Schedule a Free Case Review with a WV Products Injury Lawyer at Colombo Law
If you’ve been injured because a product was dangerous or defective, you don’t deserve to suffer alone.
Manufacturers and retailers make tremendous profits by pushing products out to the commercial market. When their products cause harm, these companies ought to pay their fair share.
We’re here to hold them accountable.
The West Virginia products liability attorneys at Colombo Law have years of experience in personal injury advocacy and courtroom litigation. We have a 99% success rate in personal injury cases, and for the majority of our clients, we have been able to negotiate settlements without going to trial.
We fight to maximize compensation for our clients. Let us fight for you. We proudly serve individuals and families all across the state of West Virginia, including Bridgeport, Buckhannon, Clarksburg, Elkins, Fairmont, Morgantown, Parkersburg, and Weston.
Here’s our promise to you:
• A free case evaluation with absolutely no obligation to hire us
• Honest guidance and advice
• No attorney fees unless and until we recover damages for you
• Our passion, respect, time, and attention
Strict legal time limits (statutes of limitation) apply to WV products liability claims, so please don’t delay. Contact Colombo Law and schedule a free case review right away. Just dial 888-860-1414 (304-599-4229 in Morgantown) or contact us online.