Different Types of Product Liability Claims in Massachusetts

People are injured every day by defective products in the United States. In 2010, an estimated 38,573,000 people sought medical treatment for an injury related to a consumer product. If you were injured by a defective product, you may be able to pursue a product liability claim. In Massachusetts, there are three types of product liability cases including:

  • Negligence: This requires that you prove, among other things, that the manufacturer breached its duty of care by not acting reasonably under the circumstances regarding the product;
  • Breach of Warranty: You must prove, among other things, that the product is not fit for the ordinary purpose for which such products are used; and
  • Unfair and Deceptive Practices (M.G.L. c. 93A): If you prove that the manufacturer breached its warranty, it may be liable for your attorneys fees and, if it acted in bad faith, it may be liable for double or triple damages.

Defective product claims usually fall into one of three categories including:

  • Defective Design: The design of the product was unreasonably dangerous;
  • Defective Manufacture: The product was not manufactured properly and, as a result, a dangerous defect was created, and
  • Failure to Warn / Marketing Defects: A manufacturer must give adequate warnings and instructions regarding the nature and extent of dangers which may arise from the use of its product.

Examples of types of products which are sometimes defective include:

  • Beds, mattresses, and pillows
  • Chairs, sofas, and sofa beds
  • Exercise equipment
  • Power tools
  • Bathtub and shower structures
  • Flammable Clothing
  • Furnaces/boilers
  • Toys
  • Household appliances

One way to check out if there have been any complaints or recalls of a product you purchased is to go to the website of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.