The Lousiana Products Liability Act - Defective Product Lawyer

Lake Charles Product Liability Lawyers

Lake Charles products, like this television, can break due to manufacturing or design defects. If you are injured by a defective product, call an Lake Charles Products Liability Lawyer today.


What is Products Liability law? & Why do You Need a Lake Charles Product Liability Lawyer?

You might be wondering what Products Liability means and how it can affect you. Products Liability law concerns the liability, or legal responsibility, or manufacturers and other parties in the chain of distribution for consumer products or components of those products. This may include the manufacturer, the wholesaler, or the retailer who sold you, a friend, or a family member a faulty product that has caused you or a loved one harm.

The product might be defective due to a design flaw, manufacturing defect, or other defect that makes the product unreasonably dangerous for its normal use. If you have been injured or otherwise harmed by a faulty consumer product, you may be entitled to monetary compensation and should contact Lake Charles products liability lawyers for a consultation. You can read Louisiana's Products Liability Laws below.

What is a defective consumer product?

Everyday household items like toys, electronics, common household appliances, contaminated food products, and medical devices can all be defective consumer products; however, other things may also be considered defective products. For example, gases such as arsenic and radon, property, pets or livestock, pharmaceutical drugs, writings like navigational charts, and other dangerous chemicals can all be considered defective products. 

See our Recalled Medicine Lawyer page more information on dangerous and defective drugs and medical devices.

Who can sue for a defective product injury?

Apart from the person who was using the defective product, bystanders may also sue the product manufacturer or supplier for their injuries. Additionally, a bystander who has not been injured may sue for emotional damage if they witnessed a close family member sustain an injury from their use of the defective product. This may include a spouse, child, or other close family member. Furthermore, damages are recoverable if a family member is killed under Louisiana's products liability statute family members can also recover for loss of consortium if a product seriously injures a family member. A person who has been loaned or given a defective product may also sue.

What damages can you recover?

Louisiana products liability law provides for recovery of the following damages:
    -  Medical bills
    -  Rehabilitation expenses
    -  Lost income
    -  Other lost earnings
    -  Pain and suffering

Louisiana law does not allow recovery of punitive damages in a products liability case. However, a Lake Charles defective products injury lawyer can help make sure you receive the maximum compensation possible under the law for your injuries.

Why seek legal help?  How long do you have to sue in a Louisiana Products Liability case?

An experienced Lake Charles products liability attorney can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Louisiana limits how long you have to file a products liability lawsuit under something called a period of prescription. The period of prescription in a Louisiana product defect case is one (1) year. Contact a Southwestern Louisiana products liability lawyer as quickly as possible to safeguard your rights. A qualified Lake Charles product defect attorney will help protect your rights and get you the money you deserve.

 

Where can you find a Lake Charles Personal Injury Attorney or Southwestern Louisiana Personal Injury Attorney near you?

Serving clients throughout Southwestern Louisiana, including Carlyss, Holmwood, Iowa, Lake Charles, Moss Bluff, Port of Lake Charles, Sulphur, Westlake, and other communities in Calcasieu Parish.

To find a Lake Charles Personal Injury Attorney, simply look at the box on the top of the left side of this page. The lawyers listed there are trained and experienced and offer a free consultation about your case.

Lake Charles personal injury lawyers are experienced in handling personal injury and accident cases in both federal and state courts across Southwestern Louisiana. The district courts serving Lake Charles and all of Calcasieu Parish are:

Civil District Court - Lake Charles - Division/Judge

Division “A”
Judge D. Kent Savoie

Division “B”
Judge Clayton Davis

Division “C”
Judge Guy Bradberry

Division “D”
Chief Judge Robert L. Wyatt

Division "E"
Judge David A. Ritchie

Division “F”
Judge Wilford D. Carter

Division “G”
Judge G. Michael Canaday

Division “H”
Judge Ronald F. Ware

Division “I”
Judge Lilynn Cutrer

The above CDC courts are located at:

Calcasieu Parish Judicial Center
1001 Lakeshore Drive, PO Box 3210
Lake Charles, LA 70602
(337) 437-3530

Lake Charles appellate lawyers are covered by the Third Circuit. So a Lake Charles trial lawyer, if they were going to appeal or respond to an appeal from a decision in the Calcasieu Parish District Courts, they would file their appellate briefs at:

Louisiana Court of Appeals - Third Circuit
1000 Main Street, Lake Charles, LA 70615
(337) 433-9403

If the case decision needed to be appealed, then the writ of certiorari would be filed in the:   

Louisiana Supreme Court
400 Royal Street
Lake Charles, LA 70130
(504) 310-2300

In addition to the above Calcasieu Parish District Courts, in some instances Lake Charles personal injury attorneys can file injury lawsuits in federal court. If that was done, it would be filed in the:

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana
Lake Charles Division
Edwin F. Hunter, Jr. United States Courthouse and Federal Building
611 Broad Street, Suite 188
Lake Charles, LA 70602
(337) 437-3870

Louisiana Revised Statutes: The Louisiana Products Liability Act

RS 9:2800.51

§2800.51.  Short title

This Chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Louisiana Products Liability Act."

§2800.52.  Scope of this Chapter

This Chapter establishes the exclusive theories of liability for manufacturers for damage caused by their products.  A claimant may not recover from a manufacturer for damage caused by a product on the basis of any theory of liability that is not set forth in this Chapter.  Conduct or circumstances that result in liability under this Chapter are "fault" within the meaning of Civil Code Article 2315.  This Chapter does not apply to the rights of an employee or his personal representatives, dependents or relations against a manufacturer who is the employee's employer or against any principal or any officer, director, stockholder, partner or employee of such manufacturer or principal as limited by R.S. 23:1032, or to the rights of a claimant against the following, unless they assume the status of a manufacturer as defined in R.S. 9:2800.53(1):
(1)  Providers of professional services, even if the service results in a product.  
(2)  Providers of nonprofessional services where the essence of the service is the furnishing of judgment or skill, even if the service results in a product.  
(3)  Producers of natural fruits and other raw products in their natural state that are derived from animals, fowl, aquatic life, or invertebrates, including but not limited to milk, eggs, honey, and wool.  
(4)  Farmers and other producers of agricultural plants in their natural state.  
(5)  Ranchers and other producers of animals, fowl, aquatic life, or invertebrates in their natural state.
(6)  Harvesters and other producers of fish, crawfish, oysters, crabs, mollusks, or other aquatic animals in their natural state.

§2800.53.  Definitions

The following terms have the following meanings for the purpose of this Chapter:
(1)  "Manufacturer" means a person or entity who is in the business of manufacturing a product for placement into trade or commerce.  "Manufacturing a product" means producing, making, fabricating, constructing, designing, remanufacturing, reconditioning or refurbishing a product.  "Manufacturer" also means:
(a)  A person or entity who labels a product as his own or who otherwise holds himself out to be the manufacturer of the product.
(b)  A seller of a product who exercises control over or influences a characteristic of the design, construction or quality of the product that causes damage.
(c)  A manufacturer of a product who incorporates into the product a component or part manufactured by another manufacturer.
(d)  A seller of a product of an alien manufacturer if the seller is in the business of importing or distributing the product for resale and the seller is the alter ego of the alien manufacturer.  The court shall take into consideration the following in determining whether the seller is the alien manufacturer's alter ego: whether the seller is affiliated with the alien manufacturer by way of common ownership or control; whether the seller assumes or administers product warranty obligations of the alien manufacturer; whether the seller prepares or modifies the product for distribution; or any other relevant evidence.  A "product of an alien manufacturer" is a product that is manufactured outside the United States by a manufacturer who is a citizen of another country or who is organized under the laws of another country.
(2)  "Seller" means a person or entity who is not a manufacturer and who is in the business of conveying title to or possession of a product to another person or entity in exchange for anything of value.
(3)  "Product" means a corporeal movable that is manufactured for placement into trade or commerce, including a product that forms a component part of or that is subsequently incorporated into another product or an immovable.  "Product" does not mean human blood, blood components, human organs, human tissue or approved animal tissue to the extent such are governed by R.S. 9:2797.
(4)  "Claimant" means a person or entity who asserts a claim under this Chapter against the manufacturer of a product or his insurer for damage caused by the product.
(5)  "Damage" means all damage caused by a product, including survival and wrongful death damages, for which Civil Code Articles 2315, 2315.1 and 2315.2 allow recovery.  "Damage" includes damage to the product itself and economic loss arising from a deficiency in or loss of use of the product only to the extent that Chapter 9 of Title VII of Book III of the Civil Code, entitled "Redhibition," does not allow recovery for such damage or economic loss.  Attorneys' fees are not recoverable under this Chapter.
(6)  "Express warranty" means a representation, statement of alleged fact or promise about a product or its nature, material or workmanship that represents, affirms or promises that the product or its nature, material or workmanship possesses specified characteristics or qualities or will meet a specified level of performance.  "Express warranty" does not mean a general opinion about or general praise of a product.  A sample or model of a product is an express warranty.
(7)  "Reasonably anticipated use" means a use or handling of a product that the product's manufacturer should reasonably expect of an ordinary person in the same or similar circumstances.
(8)  "Reasonably anticipated alteration or modification" means a change in a product that the product's manufacturer should reasonably expect to be made by an ordinary person in the same or similar circumstances, and also means a change arising from ordinary wear and tear.  "Reasonably anticipated alteration or modification" does not mean the following:
(a)  Alteration, modification or removal of an otherwise adequate warning provided about a product.
(b)  The failure of a person or entity, other than the manufacturer of a product, reasonably to provide to the product user or handler an adequate warning that the manufacturer provided about the product, when the manufacturer has satisfied his obligation to use reasonable care to provide the adequate warning by providing it to such person or entity rather than to the product user or handler.
(c)  Changes to or in a product or its operation because the product does not receive reasonable care and maintenance.
(9)  "Adequate warning" means a warning or instruction that would lead an ordinary reasonable user or handler of a product to contemplate the danger in using or handling the product and either to decline to use or handle the product or, if possible, to use or handle the product in such a manner as to avoid the damage for which the claim is made.  

§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.

 §2800.55.  Unreasonably dangerous in construction or composition

A product is unreasonably dangerous in construction or composition if, at the time the product left its manufacturer's control, the product deviated in a material way from the manufacturer's specifications or performance standards for the product or from otherwise identical products manufactured by the same manufacturer. 

§2800.56.  Unreasonably dangerous in design

A product is unreasonably dangerous in design if, at the time the product left its manufacturer's control:
(1)  There existed an alternative design for the product that was capable of preventing the claimant's damage; and
(2)  The likelihood that the product's design would cause the claimant's damage and the gravity of that damage outweighed the burden on the manufacturer of adopting such alternative design and the adverse effect, if any, of such alternative design on the utility of the product.  An adequate warning about a product shall be considered in evaluating the likelihood of damage when the manufacturer has used reasonable care to provide the adequate warning to users and handlers of the product.  

§2800.57.  Unreasonably dangerous because of inadequate warning

A.  A product is unreasonably dangerous because an adequate warning about the product has not been provided if, at the time the product left its manufacturer's control, the product possessed a characteristic that may cause damage and the manufacturer failed to use reasonable care to provide an adequate warning of such characteristic and its danger to users and handlers of the product.  
B.  A manufacturer is not required to provide an adequate warning about his product when:
(1)  The product is not dangerous to an extent beyond that which would be contemplated by the ordinary user or handler of the product, with the ordinary knowledge common to the community as to the product's characteristics; or
(2)  The user or handler of the product already knows or reasonably should be expected to know of the characteristic of the product that may cause damage and the danger of such characteristic.  
C.  A manufacturer of a product who, after the product has left his control, acquires knowledge of a characteristic of the product that may cause damage and the danger of such characteristic, or who would have acquired such knowledge had he acted as a reasonably prudent manufacturer, is liable for damage caused by his subsequent failure to use reasonable care to provide an adequate warning of such characteristic and its danger to users and handlers of the product.  

§2800.58.  Unreasonably dangerous because of nonconformity to express warranty

A product is unreasonably dangerous when it does not conform to an express warranty made at any time by the manufacturer about the product if the express warranty has induced the claimant or another person or entity to use the product and the claimant's damage was proximately caused because the express warranty was untrue.  

§2800.59.  Manufacturer knowledge, design feasibility and burden of proof

A.  Notwithstanding R.S. 9:2800.56, a manufacturer of a product shall not be liable for damage proximately caused by a characteristic of the product's design if the manufacturer proves that, at the time the product left his control:
(1)  He did not know and, in light of then-existing reasonably available scientific and technological knowledge, could not have known of the design characteristic that caused the damage or the danger of such characteristic; or
(2)  He did not know and, in light of then-existing reasonably available scientific and technological knowledge, could not have known of the alternative design identified by the claimant under R.S. 9:2800.56(1); or
(3)  The alternative design identified by the claimant under R.S. 9:2800.56(1) was not feasible, in light of then-existing reasonably available scientific and technological knowledge or then-existing economic practicality.  
B.  Notwithstanding R.S. 9:2800.57(A) or (B), a manufacturer of a product shall not be liable for damage proximately caused by a characteristic of the product if the manufacturer proves that, at the time the product left his control, he did not know and, in light of then-existing reasonably available scientific and technological knowledge, could not have known of the characteristic that caused the damage or the danger of such characteristic.  

§2800.60.  Liability of manufacturers and sellers of firearms

A.  The legislature finds and declares that the Louisiana Products Liability Act was not designed to impose liability on a manufacturer or seller for the improper use of a properly designed and manufactured product.  The legislature further finds and declares that the manufacture and sale of firearms and ammunition by manufacturers and dealers, duly licensed by the appropriate federal and state authorities, is lawful activity and is not unreasonably dangerous.
B.  No firearm manufacturer or seller shall be liable for any injury, damage, or death resulting from any shooting injury by any other person unless the claimant proves and shows that such injury, damage, or death was proximately caused by the unreasonably dangerous construction or composition of the product as provided in R.S. 9:2800.55.
C.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, no manufacturer or seller of a firearm who has transferred that firearm in compliance with federal and state law shall incur any liability for any action of any person who uses a firearm in a manner which is unlawful, negligent, or otherwise inconsistent with the purposes for which it was intended.
D.  The failure of a manufacturer or seller to insure that a firearm has a device which would: make the firearm useable only by the lawful owner or authorized user of the firearm; indicate to users that a cartridge is in the chamber of the firearm; or prevent the firearm from firing if the ammunition magazine is removed, shall not make the firearm unreasonably dangerous, unless such device is required by federal or state statute or regulation.
E.(1)  For the purposes of this Chapter, the potential of a firearm to cause serious injury, damage, or death as a result of normal function does not constitute a firearm malfunction due to defect in design or manufacture.
(2)  A firearm may not be deemed defective in design or manufacture on the basis of its potential to cause serious bodily injury, property damage, or death when discharged legally or illegally.
F.  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no manufacturer or seller of a firearm shall incur any liability for failing to warn users of the risk that:
(1)  A firearm has the potential to cause serious bodily injury, property damage, or death when discharged legally or illegally.
(2)  An unauthorized person could gain access to the firearm.
(3)  A cartridge may be in the chamber of the firearm.
(4)  The firearm is capable of being fired even with the ammunition magazine removed.
G.  The provisions of this Section shall not apply to assault weapons manufactured in violation of 18 U.S.C. §922(v).

 

LSA-C.C. Art. 2317.1 - Owners responsible for harm caused by their possessions:

     The owner or custodian of a thing is answerable for damage occasioned by its ruin, vice, or defect, only upon a showing that he knew or, in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known of the ruin, vice, or defect which caused the damage, that the damage could have been prevented by the exercise of reasonable care, and that he failed to exercise such reasonable care.  Nothing in this Article shall preclude the court from the application of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur in an appropriate case.


Where can you find a Lake Charles Product Defect Attorney near you?

Calcasieu Parish product defect law firms and Lake Charles personal injury lawyers:

Serving clients throughout Southwestern Louisiana, including Carlyss, Holmwood, Iowa, Lake Charles, Moss Bluff, Port of Lake Charles, Sulphur, Westlake, and other communities in Calcasieu Parish.

Call a Lake Charles products liability lawyer today for a free initial consultation.