Wisconsin Product Liability Attorneys

representing victims of personal injury

Working with us on Product Liability Cases

Consumers purchase products, expecting them to be safe.  Unfortunately, thousands of people are injured or killed by defective products every year.  When a product injures or kills someone because of negligent design, negligent manufacturing or inadequate warnings, one of our lawyers can ensure that victims and survivors get the compensation to which they are entitled.

Common Product Defects

  • Auto defects include things such as defective airbags or seat belts, faulty brakes and defective tires
  • Industrial machinery may lack safety guards or may malfunction
  • Medical implants, such as hip or joint replacements, pace makers and defibrillators can fail
  • Scaffolding and construction equipment may fail and cause serious injury or death
  • Tools and implements, such as power saws or lawnmowers, may be negligently designed, lack sufficient safety warnings, or be manufactured improperly
  • Consumer products may have inherently dangerous design, improper instructions or inadequate warnings of hazards
  • Baby products such as cribs, strollers, toys and even clothing may have inadequate warnings or a negligent design that put infants at risk
  • Food products  may contain foreign objects, or byproducts (such as bones) that should have been removed
  • Products imported from other countries with lower safety standards, such as some Chinese products, may cause injury in the United States

Tort Reform in Wisconsin

In 2011, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker signed the Omnibus Tort Reform Act, which made significant changes to Wisconsin’s products liability law. Some important components of the new law include:

  • limits the liability of the seller or distributor of a product;
  • creates a rebuttable presumption that intoxication caused an accident if the plaintiff was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, when it happened;
  • creates a presumption that a product is not defective if it complies with governmental standards;
  • requires dismissal of a case when injury is caused by an inherent characteristic of a product, which would be easily recognized by any person using it;
  • prohibits the introduction of subsequent remedial measures in strict liability cases based on a manufacturing defect, design defect, or failure to warn, other than to prove feasibility;
  • generally prohibits a plaintiff from bringing a claim for an injury sustained more than 15 years after the product was manufactured, unless the manufacturer makes a specific representation that the product will last more than 15 years;
  • directs the jury to allocate a percentage of fault to each entity responsible for an injury, including the plaintiff;
  • raises the standards for expert testimony;
  • limits punitive damages to $ 200,000.00 or double the amount of compensatory damages, whichever is higher;
  • toughens the rules relating to damages for frivolous claims;

Although the new laws clearly make product liability cases more challenging to prosecute, one of our lawyers can offer the expertise required to pursue these complex cases.

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