What are Marketing Defects in Product Liability?
As consumers, we trust that the products that we buy and use are safe– both in their design and how they are marketed to us. Manufacturers of products and providers of services can be held liable for injury, damage, or economic loss suffered by a consumer as a result of all aspects of the product or service, including how it is marketed. Here, the Baltimore product liability attorneys at Peter Angelos Law provide insight on marketing defects and how they can lead to a product liability claim.
Overview of Marketing Defects and Product Liability
The United States has several agencies and regulations in place to monitor consumer safety. They regulate all aspects of products and services, including all written materials that accompany the product, such as warnings and instructions, and all oral and written statements made before and after sale. As a result, manufacturers and service providers are responsible for providing a reasonably safe product, competent service, and written and oral statements that do not detract from the quality or safety of the offering. They are also responsible for ensuring that any written or oral statements provided do not confuse the customer into doing something that results in injury, damage, or loss.
There are several legal avenues a consumer may take if they sustain damages as a result of things that a manufacturer or producer said or did not say. These include breach of warranty, breach of contract, fraud, fraudulent concealment, misrepresentation, negligence, and strict liability.
Breach of Warranty
In simplest terms, a warranty is a promise made by the manufacturer or seller of a product that the product is of a certain quality. If the product fails to meet that standard of quality within a stated period of time, the manufacturer or seller will repair or replace the product. The manufacturer or seller is legally obligated to live up to the promise if the product is found to have a defect covered by the warranty.
Warranty law is a deeply complex branch of law, and it is imperative that you consult an experienced product liability attorney when navigating a breach of warranty claim.
Breach of Contract
Breach of contract most often pertains to service-related offerings. When a service is exchanged between a provider and a consumer, a contract is created. This contract includes expectations regarding what services are to be provided, price to be paid, and dates services are to be performed on. If a service provider fails to fulfill any of their parts of a contract, the consumer may be entitled to a breach of contract claim.
Contract law has many different elements that can be challenging to navigate. Seeking counsel from an experienced attorney is necessary for a successful claim.
Fraud claims are based around false claims knowingly made by a manufacturer or provider to influence consumers to purchase a product or service that result in the injury or harm to a consumer.
In a defective product claim based on fraud, the consumer must demonstrate that the manufacturer or provider made certain representations about the product that were not true. It also must be proven that the manufacturer or provider knew that the representations were not true, or were unlikely to be true and that the representations were made to influence consumers to buy the product or service. It also must be proven that the consumer’s injuries or harm were related to the false representations.
Fraudulent concealment involves a provider or manufacturer concealing or suppressing a material fact with the intention of misleading consumers. In a fraudulent concealment claim, it must be proven that the manufacturer or provider knew of the fact in question and that they deliberately concealed it to mislead consumers, and as a result, consumers suffered injuries or harm.
Negligence in relation to a marketing defect includes instances when a product has inaccurate or inadequate labeling. Manufacturers and providers are responsible for placing adequate warnings, labels, directions, or instructions on a product’s packaging so that ordinary and average consumers and users are aware of dangers or any potential risks of harm associated with the product. Failure to do so can result in a negligence claim.
Strict liability removes the analysis of whether a defendant’s conduct met or fell below a certain standard when proving negligence. Rather than a consumer having to prove where unsafe or unreasonable conduct resulted in a product causing harm, strict liability creates the assumption that it is the manufacturer’s or provider’s responsibility to provide a safe product.
Instead, the consumer must prove that the product was unreasonably unsafe or unreasonably dangerous when it was designed, manufactured, or sold and that the seller or manufacturer expected and intended the product to reach the consumer without changes to the product, resulting in the consumer’s injury.
Consult with the Experienced Product Liability Attorneys at Peter Angelos Law
Everyday, we interact with hundreds of products and services, all with the trust that the companies that manufactured and marketed them did so honestly and accurately. When manufacturers or providers fail to uphold the necessary level of care, consumers can suffer injuries or harm. It is important that you seek justice if you’re injured by an improperly marketed product. If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of an improperly marketed product or service, consult with the experienced product liability attorneys at Peter Angelos Law. Fill out the form below to contact us today.