When we buy a product, there is a reasonable expectation that it will work as intended—and certainly, that we won’t be injured by the product. When consumers do suffer injuries at the hands of the products they buy--be it a toaster, car set, a pacemaker, or anything else—they have may be able to get compensation. Whether a settlement can be reached, and whether the dollar figure in that settlement is a fair one, may well depend on the quality and experience of their Baton Rouge products liability lawyer.
The attorneys at Beall & Thies bring over a century of combined experience to the table. We know how to investigate, and we know what it takes to fight for a fair settlement. Call today at (225) 577-6223 or contact us online to set up a consultation.
What Is Strict Liability?
Strict liability is a legal concept which holds defendants (in this case, the company that manufactured or distributed the product) accountable simply on the basis that the injury occurred as a result of reasonable use of the product. It does not take defendants’ actions (or lack thereof) into account.
In practical terms, this means the injured plaintiff is not obligated to prove that a defendant was culpably negligent in designing, manufacturing, or marketing their product. A product liability lawsuit is not, at least on its face, an accusation of deliberate misconduct. It is simply a reflection of the fact that the consumer was injured.
The exception to strict liability in cases like these is if it can be shown that the plaintiff used the product in a way other than its intended use. An example might be plugging in a toaster while it’s on a puddle of water that sits on the counter. The defense can reasonably argue in this case that the ensuing electrical injury is not the fault of the product. But if the toaster was just plugged in normally and the same burn injury occurred? Then strict liability can apply.
Who Is Liable?
The bigger challenge for Baton Rouge product liability attorneys is identifying who should be held strictly liable for the plaintiff’s injuries. The Louisiana Product Liability Act cites three areas where error might have happened…
- The Design Phase: This presumes a product was flawed from the start. The car seat that had a structural flaw never had a real chance to work as intended.
- The Manufacturing Phase: In this phase, the product was well-designed, but mistakes happened along the path of putting it together. An example here might be a problem on an automobile assembly line. Perhaps the reason the gas tank caught fire was that it was an erroneously assembled back in the plant.
- The Marketing Phase: Consumers rely on reasonable warnings about how to use a product, including whether it may be dangerous for children. The person that buys over-the-counter medicine needs a warning as to potential side effects. If these warnings are not given, then we have a product liability case.
Finding out which phase the error occurred can require some investigation and an experienced Baton Rouge products liability lawyer, one who has been through numerous cases likes yours, can be a valuable asset. Larger companies may contract out anything from design to distribution, so identifying where the error occurred is an important prerequisite in knowing who the defendant should be.
The state of Louisiana has a 1-year statute of limitations on filing a product liability claim, so it’s important to act quickly and get your lawyer on the case. Let the experienced attorneys at Beall & Thies be that lawyer. We’ve been in business for 20 years as a team, and have over 100 years of combined individual experience. We'll get to the bottom of why your product failed and fight hard to get you a fair settlement.
"Never expected to be in a predicament where I would need to hire an attorney but, I wouldn’t recommend anyone but, B&T. They helped my father in his predicament and they’ve helped me in mine. Continuous support throughout the entire process"Den'a Wells
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Russell W. Beall
"Russell W. Beall is a founding partner in the Baton Rouge law firm of Beall & Thies LLC. His main emphasis of practice is on Civil Litigation including Torts, Products Liability, and Premises Liability. Russell is a frequent guest speaker at Louisiana State University Law School where he participates in the Appellate Advocacy Program and the Professionalism Orientation. He earned his B.A. degree at Louisiana State University (1998) and his J.D Louisiana State University Law School (2001). Russell is an active member of the Louisiana Association for Justice and is frequently invited to be a guest speaker at continuing legal education seminars."Read Full Bio
William W. Thies
"William W. Thies was born in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1974 moving with his family to Slidell, Louisiana at seven years of age. Mr. Thies graduated from Slidell High School in 1992. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in history and political science from Louisiana State University in 1996 and his Juris Doctorate from the Southern University Law Center in 2001. He was admitted to the Louisiana State Bar Association in May 2002. He is a member of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, American Bar Associations, and the Louisiana Association of Justice. He is admitted to practice in all state courts, the United States District Court for the Middle and Eastern Districts of Louisiana, as well as the United States Supreme Court."Read Full Bio
"Jacob H. Thomas is originally from the Piney Hills of North Louisiana, known for producing great litigators such as Huey P. Long as well as several other notable statesmen on the both the federal and state levels.Read Full Bio
Jake is a graduate of Jonesboro-Hodge High School and Northwestern State University where he was a member of the Theta Mu chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, the NSU Presidential Leadership Program, and the Inter-Fraternity Council serving as Vice President."
"Aaron Humphreys joined Beall & Thies, LLC as an associate attorney in the fall of 2016. He was admitted to the Louisiana State Bar Association in May of 2016. Aaron is also a member of the Baton Rouge Bar Association and the Louisiana Association of Justice."Read Full Bio
"George G. Caballero practices general civil law and focuses on plaintiff’s personal injury, wills, and successions. George joined Beall & Thies as of counsel in 2017 after starting Caballero Law Firm in 1993. Mr. Caballero has over thirty years of experience as an attorney and has served clients in various matters ranging from business and tort litigation, business, family law, and successions.Read Full Bio
Mr. Caballero is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University and Mississippi College School of Law. Upon graduation, he immediately went into the private practice of law, practicing in both Louisiana and Mississippi."
Jewel “Trae” E. Welch, III
"Trae is a lifelong resident of the Baker-Zachary area. Trae is the son of The Honorable Judge Duke Welch, currently presiding on the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeals, and former East Baton Rouge Councilwoman, Roxson Welch. Trae is married to the former Lynn Caldwell of Tallulah, Louisiana. Together Trae and Lynn are raising their two children Quade and Vivian."Read Full Bio