Manufacturers can be held liable when their products cause injury or death. These types of cases require very strict elements of proof. The test is whether a product is “unreasonably dangerous”. There are specific ways in which our law outlines how a product can be considered “unreasonably dangerous”. These are found in the Louisiana revised statutes but a synopsis is (1) though construction or composition, (2) though design, (3) though an inadequate warning, (4) though failure to comply with an express warranty.
I our experience, most products liability cases involve one of the first three. Examples would be a product that wasn’t built up to standards and failed. (construction of composition); a product that was unsafe due to a poor design (design); or a product that failed to warn of a danger associated with its use. (warning)
Its important to have a strong legal theory supported by expert testimony in these types of cases. It is not enough to simply allege that you were injured by a product. This is where an experienced lawyer can really make the difference.
§ 2800.54. Manufacturer responsibility and burden of proof
A. The manufacturer of a product shall be liable to a claimant for damage proximately caused by a characteristic of the product that renders the product unreasonably dangerous when such damage arose from a reasonably anticipated use of the product by the claimant or another person or entity.
B. A product is unreasonably dangerous if and only if:
(1) The product is unreasonably dangerous in construction or composition as provided in R.S. 9:2800.55;
(2) The product is unreasonably dangerous in design as provided in R.S. 9:2800.56;
(3) The product is unreasonably dangerous because an adequate warning about the product has not been provided as provided in R.S. 9:2800.57; or
(4) The product is unreasonably dangerous because it does not conform to an express warranty of the manufacturer about the product as provided in R.S. 9:2800.58.
C. The characteristic of the product that renders it unreasonably dangerous under R.S. 9:2800.55 must exist at the time the product left the control of its manufacturer. The characteristic of the product that renders it unreasonably dangerous under R.S. 9:2800.56 or 9:2800.57 must exist at the time the product left the control of its manufacturer or result from a reasonably anticipated alteration or modification of the product.
D. The claimant has the burden of proving the elements of Subsections A, B and C of this Section.