Wrongful Deaths and Faulty Products: Holding Liable Manufacturers Responsible


Whether buying a car or a household cleaning spray, we take for granted that those products are safe to use and will make life easier. Most of us put a lot of trust in the manufacturers of the things we bring into our homes. That’s why it can feel like a betrayal when a faulty product causes the untimely death of a loved one.

When someone dies because of a product that was flawed or didn’t meet safety requirements, the survivors are left with devastating losses, some of them financial. There are attorneys in the tri-state area with experience in injury law who help people affected by wrongful death due to product liability. In these cases, it’s important to understand what product liability is and what it takes to prove it in a wrongful death claim.

What is Product Liability?

A branch of personal injury law, product liability refers to the responsibility manufacturers, retailers, and distributors have when their defective and dangerous goods reach consumers. Various types of products fall under product liability:

  • Children’s products and toys: Items intended for children that poison, present choking hazards, or cause injury.
  • Construction defects: Materials and methods that cause accidents and injuries in completed buildings or structures
  • Defective vehicles: Manufacturing and design flaws, like broken seatbelts, airbags that won’t inflate, or faulty breaks that cause or lead to accidents and injuries
  • Household appliances: Items that cause electric shock, fire, or other hazards
  • Pharmaceuticals and medical devices: Faulty drugs, medical devices, implants, and other products intended to treat one or more health conditions

Product liability also applies when manufacturers fail to provide adequate warnings about the risks of normal or typical use. Also, product liability occurs if the instructions are unclear and can lead to wrongful death.

Bringing a Product Liability Claim for a Wrongful Death

A personal injury lawyer can bring a product liability suit when the use of a defective product leads to wrongful death. In Ohio, a wrongful death claim applies when the “death of a person is caused by wrongful act, neglect, or default which would have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages if death had not ensued.” In such a case, the survivors of the decedent (deceased person) may file a wrongful death claim against the manufacturer, distributor, or seller of the defective product.

To prove product liability, the plaintiff must prove the following:

  • Product defect: The product had design or construction flaws or lacked the necessary instructions or safety warnings.
  • Injury or harm: With the harm being loss of life, the victim suffered directly from using the faulty product.
  • Intended use: The victim safely used the product as intended and designed.
  • Product condition: At the time of the fatal injury, the product was in the exact same condition as when it left the factory.
  • Causation: The loss of life was directly the result of product use.

A Cincinnati Attorney Who Handles Personal Injury Claims Can Help

Filing a wrongful death claim due to product liability involves many legal complexities, which can bring undue stress to grieving survivors. Nonetheless, families have the right to seek compensation for their lost loved one, and a Cincinnati attorney experienced in wrongful death can bring justice and closure.

The personal injury lawyers with Clements, Taylor, Butkovich & Cohen LPA, Co., understand what it takes to prove product liability and bring peace of mind to those left behind. Contact our offices today if you have questions about wrongful death claims or have lost a family member due to product liability.