If you want your Ohio product liability lawsuit to have a chance of success, you need to review state statutes on product liability. These laws explain how to prove liability, time limits on filing claims, limits on compensation and contributory fault.
Here’s what you need to know about Ohio product liability laws:
Types Of Claims
Under Ohio Revised Code 2307.71 (13), a product liability claim is a legal action to recover damages from a manufacturer or supplier of a product for death, physical injuries, emotional distress or physical damage to property. The death or other injuries must have arisen from:
Manufacturing Or Design Defects
This includes problems with any of the following aspects of the product:
These issues could have come up during the creation of the product or the assembly phase when the product was being put together at the factory.
Manufacturers may not be aware of these risks, but they could still be held liable if these risks were foreseeable.
A foreseeable risk is a risk of harm that is associated with an intended or reasonably foreseeable use, modification or alteration of the product or a risk the manufacturer should recognize:
- With the exercise of attention, perception, memory, knowledge and intelligence that a reasonable manufacturer should have
- With any superior attention, perception, memory, knowledge or intelligence that the manufacturer in question possesses
Lack Of Sufficient Warning
There are also product liability claims involving warnings or instructions about products, including a lack of warnings or instructions about a product.
In these types of claims, plaintiffs assert that there was insufficient warning or no warning about the risks of using the product or a lack of instructions about how to safely use the product. Claimants often argue that the danger from the product is not obvious to the user, so a warning was necessary to avoid harm.
Failure To Fulfill The Warranty
Ohio residents can also file product liability claims alleging that the product did not conform to a representation or warranty for the product.
Ohio Revised Code 2307.71 (14) states that a representation refers to a representation of a material fact about the character, quality or safety of a product. This could mean that advertisements about the product did not adequately state the risks.
Time Limit For Filing A Product Liability Claim
Ohio has statutes of limitations for various personal injury claims. These laws place a time limit on filing different types of claims. If the time limit expires, you can no longer file a claim.
Ohio’s statute of limitations for product liability claims is two years from when the cause of action accrues. This means you have two years from the date of your loved one’s death or the date the product in question caused you injury to file a claim.
You could have more than two years if you were exercising due diligence and simply did not realize that your injury was related to exposure to the product.
In claims concerning exposure to toxic chemicals (including chemical defoliants like agent orange, chromium, asbestos, diethylstilbestrol and nonsteroidal synthetic estrogens), defective drugs or ethical medical devices, the statute of limitations does not start running until the date you are informed by a competent medical authority that you have an injury caused by one of those substances or devices, or from the date you should reasonably be aware that your injury was caused by the substance or device in question, whichever date is sooner.
Ohio law also states that no product liability claims can be filed more than 10 years after the injured party purchased the product that caused injury.
Cap On Non-Economic Damages
Ohio does not limit the amount of compensation plaintiffs can recover for economic damages, such as medical bills and lost wages.
However, non-economic compensation is capped at $250,000 or three times the economic loss, whichever amount is greater. Courts can award a maximum of $500,000 in non-economic compensation per incident, with a maximum of $350,000 to each plaintiff.
Non-economic damages compensate personal injury victims for non-monetary losses, such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, and permanent disfigurement.
Ohio’s contributory fault law states that an injured party cannot recover compensation if it shares more than 50 percent of the responsibility for his or her injuries.
If you share 50 percent or less of the responsibility, your compensation award will be reduced by your percentage of responsibility for what happened. This means that if you share 25 percent of the responsibility and are awarded $100,000 in compensation, you will receive only $75,000.
If you have been injured by a defective defect, the product liability attorneys of O’Connor, Acciani & Levy can pursue your claim, working to hold negligent manufacturers accountable for the damages their product caused.
We will work tirelessly to help you recover all of the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.