Product Liability

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Posted by Christopher Combs on January 30, 2024

Product Liability Lawyer St. Louis, MO. You should expect to be able to go to a store, purchase goods you need, and be confident that they will work reliably and safely. However this is not always the case and defective or dangerous products do indeed make it onto retail shelves. Even more unfortunate is that oftentimes companies will know that some of their products can be harmful but still allow them to be sold to consumers, despite the fact that they are legally responsible for producing reasonably safe goods.

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a defective product, contact the experienced St. Louis, MO product liability attorney at Combs Waterkotte today. Our attorneys are ready to talk to you, vow to take on even the biggest of corporations, and will hold them accountable to the people who keep them in business. Call a personal injury lawyer in St. Louis, MO today at (314) 900-HELP, or contact them online, for a free case review.

Product Liability in Missouri: The Basics

Product liability is defined as the idea that the maker or seller of a product is legally responsible for putting a malfunctioning product up for potential purchase by the general public. Product liability law in Missouri is governed by Missouri RS 537.760, which establishes that product liability cases are subject to a legal principle called strict liability. What this means is that all a plaintiff must do is prove that the product in question is defective and caused harm when subjected to “reasonably anticipated use”.

Typically, there are three sorts of defects that product manufacturers are held liable for. These are:

  • Design defects: inherent flaws in the product that existed before it was even made. Here in Missouri, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to show that the product had a major design flaw, and potentially a plaintiff may have to show how it could have been designed better. Examples of this include appliances with poor wiring that could catch fire or tools without proper safety features.
  • Manufacturing defects: as their name would suggest, these are flaws that came about due to poor construction or workmanship. It could easily be the case that while your product was defective, another person could have purchased the same product and use it with no issues. Tainted foods and supplements, tires that lose tread or air, or poorly made safety helmets are prime examples of cases we take under this section of product liability law.
  • Marketing defects: this is when products are not labeled properly or do not have the proper instructions or safety warnings. Children’s toys that pose an unmarked choking hazard, drugs that do not list all potential side effects, or hazardous materials that do not provide safe handling instructions are all grouped under marketing defects.

Who Is Responsible For Defective Products in Missouri?

More than one member of what Missouri defines as the “stream of commerce” can be potentially sued in a product liability case in Missouri. For instance, say you buy a car that came with a certain make of tire. Soon after you purchase it, the tire fails at speed on the highway and causes you to crash your car. In this case, you could not only sue the manufacturer of the tires, but also the maker of the car you bought, as they could both be responsible–the tire maker for obvious manufacturing defects, as well as the automaker for marketing defects as you purchased the car with every assurance from the manufacturer that it would be safe to drive.

If you purchased a product that was assembled by a third party (such as hiring an installer to hook up a clothes dryer that turned out to be defective), they could potentially be sued as well.

It is also possible to name retailers and wholesalers as defendants in a product liability lawsuit. However, a recent change in Missouri law limits this. Missouri RS 537.762 establishes a procedure for a company whose only place in the stream of commerce was as the seller of the product to be dismissed from a product liability claim.

Contact A Product Liability Attorney in St. Louis, MO Who Fights For Consumers

Defective products can cause all sorts of injuries, from cuts and burns to long-lasting disabilities. A top St. Louis, MO product liability lawyer can help you recover money for medical bills, wages lost due to time spent in the hospital, and damages for your pain and suffering.

Combs Waterkotte’s experienced St. Louis, MO product liability lawyers are unafraid of big corporations and their legal might. Our firm has a track record of standing up for people in St. Louis and Missouri from all walks of life who have been injured through no fault of their own. We value personal communication and are there for our clients no matter what they need. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation document review.