We talk about specific defective products all the time; usually, we’re writing about who might be affected or who has already been affected. However, we rarely stop to talk about just what defective means, and how medications, devices and products already on the market may be affecting millions of people right now. Despite stringent requirements for manufacturing and our best efforts at regulating and approving medical devices, defective products affect millions of lives each year.
What makes a product defective?
There is common misconception that “defect” must refer to a physical flaw, like a bicycle with a broken chain. However, defective products are not defined by one type of flaw; they are defective if they fail to accomplish the goal for which they were designed, or accomplish that goal in a way that causes more harm than good. In some cases (like chemotherapy drugs) a certain amount of side effects are allowable; more often, untested and unforeseen consequences make a drug or device defective.
Defective products are all around us, but not every one of them requires large-scale litigation. The type of legal action that should be taken when a person or persons are affected by defective products is determined by the circumstances. When a small number of people are affected, a lawsuit is appropriate. When a product affects large number of people in different circumstances, multi-district legislation is usually the way to go. When large numbers of people are all affected the same way in the same circumstances, they are members of a class, and a class action lawsuit is the way to go.
Are class action lawsuits effective?
Class action lawsuits have the advantage of a strong position when it comes to litigation or negotiation; when hundreds or thousands of people have been affected by a particular product, courts, manufacturers and insurance companies pay attention. Additionally, awards from class action lawsuits have two main purposes. They are intended to both provide financial recompense and relief for the affected parties and to send a message to a negligent company.
If a defective product has affected your loved one, you may be entitled to compensation through an existing class action or you may wish to file an individual lawsuit. Regardless of your circumstances, the experienced South Carolina defective product attorneys at McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC can evaluate your case and help get you the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, call 803-327-7800 or contact us today.