Expert Testimony in Products Liability Lawsuits
Most people use numerous products throughout the day, with the expectation that these products will be safe and effective. Not only are some products ineffective, but they may also actively harm the users they are intended to help. People who are unexpectedly injured by harmful products have a right to pursue damages, but product liability cases are usually more complicated than many other personal injury cases and usually require the retention of one or more experts. If you were injured by a harmful product, you can speak to a Cape Cod products liability lawyer regarding what experts you may need to support your claims. At the Law Offices of John C. Manoog, III, we are skilled at assisting parties in the pursuit of damages in product liability cases, and are well versed in what evidence is needed to establish liability. Our proficiency in handling plaintiffs’ claims has allowed us to obtain multiple multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements for our clients.Theories of Liability in a Products Liability Case
While other personal injury cases often involve one defendant and one theory of liability, product liability claims in Massachusetts often involve multiple defendants and numerous claims. For example, any company that took part in the design, manufacturing, marketing, or distribution of a defective product may be held responsible for any harm caused by the product, and may be named as a defendant in a lawsuit. Further, while plaintiffs in product liability lawsuits often allege that the defendants negligently designed or manufactured a product, making it unreasonably dangerous, they may also assert a breach of warranty or failure to warn claim against the defendants.The Need for Expert Testimony in Product Liability Lawsuits
Regardless of the precise claims asserted, in almost all product liability cases, the plaintiff will need to retain one or more experts to testify regarding the manner in which the product was defective, how the defects could have been prevented, and how the defect ultimately caused the plaintiff’s harm. Experts are generally needed because the issues regarding safe manufacturing and design practices and appropriate product warnings are beyond the understanding of the average person. Thus, the plaintiff must retain someone with specialized knowledge, skills, experience, and training that qualifies the person to offer an opinion into evidence regarding the safety of the product. Typically, experts in product liability cases who testify regarding the dangerous nature of a product are civil, chemical, electrical, mechanical, or safety engineers.
Product liability cases often hinge on expert testimony, and therefore, it is critical to vet any potential experts prior to engagement. In other words, the plaintiff’s attorney will usually thoroughly review the expert’s background, qualifications, and prior testimony. Once an expert is retained, it is important that their proposed testimony is both relevant and is based on a reliable scientific foundation. If an expert cannot prove that his or her opinion is based on theories or techniques that are generally accepted in the scientific community, the court may refuse to let the expert testify.
In addition to scientific experts, expert testimony in product liability lawsuits often includes medical experts. A medical expert will testify regarding what harm the plaintiff suffered due to the dangerous product and the permanency of any injuries or symptoms. Medical experts can also establish that any treatment the plaintiff received was due to injuries caused by the product. In cases in which the plaintiff could not work because of the injuries caused by the product, the plaintiff may also need an economics expert to establish his or her loss of earning capacity.Confer With a Trusted Cape Cod Lawyer Regarding Your Defective Product
Cases involving dangerous products are complex, meaning that expert testimony is usually needed in products liability lawsuits. If you suffered harm because of a manufacturing defect or an otherwise dangerous product, you can confer with an attorney about your potential claims. The trusted product liability lawyers of the Law Offices of John C. Manoog, III, have ample experience pursuing damages in product liability lawsuits, and we can employ our knowledge and skills to help you seek a favorable outcome. We proudly uphold a record of successful case results, including many verdicts and settlements over one million dollars. We represent people in lawsuits in Cape Cod and can meet for consultations in Plymouth and Hyannis. You can reach us through our online form or at 888-262-6664 to schedule a meeting. Nós Falamos Português.