Louisiana Product Liability Laws
Legal Advice |November 23rd, 2018
Product liability lawsuits attempt to hold manufacturers accountable for their questionable products. Manufacturers subject to liability are: someone who puts its name on a product label, a seller who controls a “characteristic of the design, construction or quality” of a product that causes injury, and a seller who sells goods made by an “alien manufacturer” outside the U.S. if the seller is the foreign manufacturer’s “alter ego”.
In regards to time, for both personal injury and property damage claims, you have only one year from the date of the injury to file a claim. However, under Louisiana’s version of the discovery rule, the clock doesn’t start until you know or should reasonably have known about your injury and its connection to the defective product.
Louisiana law also limits damages in some product liability cases. Under the pure comparative negligence rule, if you were partial to blame for an accident, you may still recover damages, but those damages will be reduced in proportion to your fault. So, a $100,000 award will be reduced by $80,000 if you were 80 percent at blame. Louisiana does not follow the economic loss rule, so you can still pursue a claim even if the only damage that occurred was to the product itself.
Manufacturers should be held accountable when their defective products cause harm. Whether you were injured by a malfunctioning blender or your carpet was burned by a poorly-manufactured vacuum, product defects can cause severe damage and injuries. If a defective product has harmed you, you may be entitled to compensation to help cover the costs of that damage.
When we purchase a product, whether it be a household appliance, a medical device, or pharmaceutical drugs, we expect it to work like the product packaging or manufacturer claims it will—however, sometimes the product is defective and does not perform the way in which it was intended and may even cause harm.
These situations always take consumers by surprise and they often find themselves in situations where they are not sure what step to take next.
If you or someone you love was harmed by a faulty or defective product, you should know that there are laws in the State of Louisiana to protect you and make you whole again.
When you choose to work with AKD Law, you can rest assured knowing that we will devote our expertise and depth of knowledge to your case, just as we have with countless other people in your position, to help you recover the compensation you are entitled to after being injured by defective products.
What is the Louisiana Products Liability Act?
The Louisiana Products Liability Act (LPLA) provides the applicable state law regarding manufacturers’ responsibilities and liabilities when creating or designing a defective or unreasonably dangerous product, or failing to provide proper and sufficient warnings about the dangerous characteristics of a product.
This law applies to those situations where a consumer uses a product in a way which is reasonably expected and the product characteristic(s) make it unreasonably dangerous when used in that manner. When this happens, the manufacturer of the product is held liable for the damage proximately caused by the product defect.
In Louisiana, you can hold a manufacturer liable for injuries which are caused by their product if one or more of the following criteria is met:
- An unreasonable danger was caused by the construction or composition of the product;
- An unreasonable danger is created by the product’s design;
- The manufacturer failed to provide an adequate warning of the dangers posed by the product; or
- The product does not conform with the manufacturer’s express warranty about the product.
What types of products does the LPLA cover?
There is a wide variety of products which, when defective, can warrant a products liability claim. This sort of legal action can be taken on any product created by a manufacturer which is defective in the ways outlined above, including household products, automobiles, and children’s toys. No matter what type of product it is, it has the potential to cause severe damage and injuries.
If a product has caused bodily harm to you or someone you love, whether it is a defective car seat or a cell phone, you may be entitled to compensation to help cover the costs of the damage caused by that product.
Your claim may be based on failure to warn of a danger, a manufacturing defect like failing to properly assemble the product, or a design defect, if an alternative design that would have prevented your injury existed and the cost of using that design was less than the cost of liability created by the defective design.
Does the LPLA cover defective medical devices too?
If you are harmed by a medical device which you trusted to improve your quality of life, such as a pacemaker, you should be aware that the LPLA can help you. The Louisiana Products Liability Act covers faulty and defective medical devices too.
While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does require manufacturers of medical devices to obtain FDA approval prior to selling their devices to consumers, there are some inherent flaws in the current system which works to ensure a product’s safety for its consumers. One of the most evident flaws in this system relates to the research that FDA officials are required to review in order to determine a product’s safety and efficacy. This research is provided to the FDA by the manufacturer’s themselves, which means that the accuracy and completeness of their research is not independently verified by the FDA.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a defective medical device, such as a device used in a knee replacement procedure, a DePuy hip used in a hip replacement procedure, or any other medical device, you may be entitled to compensation. Your claim could be based on a defect which made the device unreasonably dangerous or due to the fact that the manufacturer failed to warn consumers of a danger associated with the device.
What about harmful or dangerous medicinal drugs?
The LPLA also covers devastating physical consequences, including serious injury and even death, due to dangerous and defective pharmaceutical drugs. It does not cover injuries caused by vaccines, which requires a claim to be filed with the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
Unfortunately, the same inherent issues with the FDA approval process for medical devices also apply to the approval of pharmaceutical drugs as well. If you or your child took Accutane, Ambien, Avandia, Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac, Lipitor, Yaz or Yasmin, Celexa, Effexor, Topamax, or any other pharmaceutical and were injured due to a defect in the drug or the manufacturer’s failure to warn about a dangerous potential side effect of the drug, you may have a valid products liability claim against the drug’s manufacturer.
How can I sue a manufacturer for an injury or property damage caused by their product?
Filing a personal injury or property damage claim in Louisiana is time sensitive. If you are planning on filing a claim, you only have one year from the time you know or should have reasonably known about your injury or property damage, as well as its connection to the defective product, in order to file a claim.
Why do I need a lawyer?
Due to the extensive legal and technical knowledge necessary to bring a successful products liability claim in Louisiana, it is wise to hire a personal injury lawyer, who is experienced in products liability law, to represent you. Handling these cases requires both in-depth experience with applicable Louisiana law and an ability to effectively and accurately articulate the defect of the product.
Personal Injury Lawyers Serving Louisiana
Our personal injury lawyers, Roderick Alvendia, J. Bart Kelly III., and Jeanne Demarest, have helped countless clients recover the compensation they are entitled to after a defective product injured them. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that we are only paid if you receive a favorable judgment or settlement. If you do not win your case, you will not be charged for our legal services. Contact us today to set up an initial consultation and review of your claim.