Salt Lake County Defective Product Injury Lawyer
Defective drugs are among Utah’s most serious, most common, defective products. Economics is usually to blame. Drug companies spend about $2.8 billion on research and development before a new drug hits the market. These companies need to sell as many pills as possible to recover these costs and show a tidy profit. As a result, they often take shortcuts. These shortcuts hurt people.
Hazardous drugs are not the only danger. Other defective products include medical devices, household cleaners, and various other products, many of which are probably in your garage, closet, or pantry. Because a defective product can hurt so many people at once, the law holds manufacturers to a higher standard of care. More on that is below.
These companies have nearly unlimited resources and hire high-priced lawyers to contest these claims. Only an experienced Salt Lake City product liability attorney from Strong Law can level the playing field. Our team gets to work quickly, by evaluating your case and collecting evidence that supports your claim. Next, we assemble a team of top experts who convince jurors to award maximum compensation. Throughout the entire process, we proactively communicate with you, so you are never in the dark.FREE CONSULTATION
Why Choose Us
Defective product claims are incredibly complex. Usually, federal courts consolidate mass tort claims, at least for pretrial purposes. So, not just any Salt Lake City personal injury attorney can handle these cases. Instead, a Salt Lake County products liability attorney must have the right balance of:
- Accessibility: Overly accessible lawyers are a red flag. There is probably a reason the attorney has few clients and can meet you at the drop of a hat. However, victims should also avoid large law firms. These big firms often delegate most or all of the work in a case to non-lawyer paralegals.
- Dedication: Attorneys who only handle defective product claims often have narrow views of these cases. At the other end of the scale, victims should avoid attorneys who handle a few defective product cases on the side. Instead, a victim needs an attorney with the right combination of dedication and diversity.
- Experience: Many attorneys boast about their years of experience, which is an important trait. Unfortunately, many of these lawyers are only experienced in quickly settling cases and taking the uncomplicated way out. Once again at the other end of the scale, attorneys who insist on trials are usually poor negotiators. Victims need attorneys with advocacy and negotiating skills.
Our Salt Lake City defective product lawyers check all these boxes at Strong Law. Our 98 percent success rate speaks for itself.
Our lead attorneys, including Jed Strong, are not just pictures in advertisements. A senior attorney assumes direct responsibility for all the work done on your case. Additionally, our team is dedicated not just to defective product victims, but to all personal injury victims in Washington, Oregon, and Utah. Finally, we always prepare cases as if they will go to trial, but we also know how to negotiate favorable settlements as well.
How a Lawyer Helps
An attorney helps victims through every step of the pre-litigation and litigation process.
Dangerous drugs and other defective products often cause cancer and other long-term chronic, serious illnesses. So, we instantly connect victims with doctors who know how to diagnose and treat toxic exposure cancer, and other such diseases. These doctors ensure that victims get the treatment they need. These doctors also leave a paper trail which our Salt Lake County defective products lawyers can use to establish the number of damages in a case. More on that is below.
We always believe in trying the least-invasive method first. That means negotiating with companies before we file legal paperwork, to give these companies the chance to do the right thing. If they refuse to do so, we must take things to the next level, which means filing legal paperwork.
Determining Your Legal Options
Companies are strictly liable for the injuries their defective products cause. Evidence of negligence and recklessness is only relevant to the number of damages. Sometimes, our Salt Lake City defective products lawyers use the public nuisance theory in court. This theory, which has several moving parts, is the one many lawyers use in ongoing opioid lawsuits. Generally, however, we use two basic defective product legal claims.
Some people may remember the 1970s Ford Pinto. To compete against the other small cars that dominated the automobile market at that time, then-chairman Lee Iacocca famously told his engineers to design a car that did not cost a dime more than $2,000 and did not weigh an ounce more than 2,000 pounds.
The result was the Ford Pinto. To save money and weight, engineers put the gas tank outside the rear axle and did not cover it with any kind of protective layer. As a result, the gas tank often ruptured and exploded, even in low-speed rear-end collisions.
In a leaked memo, company executives decided paying lawsuit settlements was cheaper than making the Pinto safe. That is the classic example of putting profits before people and selling a defectively designed product.
More people may remember the 1990s Takata airbag saga. The first airbags appeared around the same time as the Pinto. By the 1990s, airbag technology had advanced rapidly, mostly because Takata built the ideal airbag.
Airbags are very well-designed. In a collision, the airbag must fully inflate in a heartbeat, but not explode. For decades, Takata used a stable chemical propellant that checked these boxes. However, this propellant was also expensive.
So, in the 1990s, Takata switched to ammonium nitrate. This highly volatile substance is the same compound Timothy McVeigh used in the Oklahoma City truck bomb. Ammonium nitrate is particularly unstable in hot, humid climates.
Predictably, Takata airbags began exploding during collisions, showering drivers with deadly shrapnel. The company then paid a huge fine and filed for bankruptcy. However, this saga continues. Experts believe that as many as fourteen million cars and trucks with defective Takata airbags are still on American roads.
Building a Claim
We usually start by collecting evidence that supports your claim. Causation is usually the key issue in defective product claims. Unless victims have substantial evidence on this point, their claims usually fail due to a lack of evidence.
Illness clusters are a good starting point. If many people who took Drug X develop cancer, there is a good chance that Drug X caused their cancer. Frequently, these companies know about these potentially serious side effects. But they suppress this information so they can continue selling pills and making money.
Cancer, and other such illnesses, usually have exceptionally long latency periods. Generally, by the time victims discover their illnesses, the injury statute of limitations, which is usually two years, has long passed. The discovery rule usually applies in these situations.
Assume Phil took Drug X for six months in 1990. In 2020, his doctor says he has cancer. In 2025, he sees a TV documentary about the link between Drug X and cancer.
In this case, the statute of limitations probably did not begin running in 2000 or even in 2020. Instead, the statute of limitations began running in 2025, when Phil knew the full extent of his injuries and he connected his damages with a company’s wrongful conduct.
The discovery rule varies in different states. Additionally, some states have a statute of repose that may cut off these claims much earlier. So, as soon as you learn about your illness and a possible connection to a defective product, it’s very important to contact a Salt Lake City defective products lawyer as soon as possible.
Next, as mentioned above, we assemble a team of expert witnesses that bolster the dangerous product-injury connection. Different states have different rules as to who qualifies as an expert. Usually, the expert must testify about facts, not theories, especially if those theories are not generally accepted in the scientific community. In most states, judges decide what experts are qualified to share their findings with jurors.
All this effort leads to maximum compensation for your serious injuries. Cancer and other serious illness treatments may cost tens of thousands of dollars a month. Additionally, most of these victims are so weak that they cannot work again. Compensation is available for all these economic losses.
Injury victims are also compensated for their emotional distress and other noneconomic losses. Usually, to determine such losses, a Salt Lake City defective products lawyer typically multiplies the economic losses by two, three, or four, depending on the facts of the case and a few other factors.
Additional punitive damages are generally available in defective product claims as well. Juries may award this compensation if there is clear and convincing evidence that the company intentionally disregarded a known risk. This punishes these companies and forces them to think twice before they put profits before people again.
Resolving a Claim
Most defective product claims settle out of court. Many of these claims settle during mediation, a process that occurs relatively late in the litigation cycle.
A third-party mediator, who is usually an unaffiliated Salt Lake City defective products lawyer, listens to arguments from both sides and then tries to engineer a settlement agreement. This process is about 90 percent successful in civil claims in Utah.
The nature of defective product claims makes the claims resolution process much more complicated and time-consuming.
As mentioned, most courts consolidate most mass tort claims. This consolidation could be pretrial Multi-District Litigation or whole trial class action litigation. Because of these additional complexities, an experienced Salt Lake City defective products lawyer is essential. Inexperienced lawyers who are unfamiliar with these processes quickly get overwhelmed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Defective product victims who suddenly face serious chronic illnesses are understandably very confused about what happened to them. Answering a few frequently asked questions in one place usually clarifies this area.
What legally makes a product defective?
Design defects and manufacturing defects are the most common defective product injury claims in the United States.
A product has a defective design if it is unsafe. Some manufacturers do not include sufficient safety measures in their products. Other manufacturers, especially drug manufacturers, often put substances in their products without fully understanding, or caring about, the side effects of these substances.
Manufacturing defects usually happen when companies use cheap components. Manufacturers are usually responsible for any defects that occur during the manufacturing or shipping process.
Are companies liable for defective products?
Generally, companies are strictly liable for the injuries their defective products cause. This high legal standard usually means that victims are entitled to substantial compensation.
A few affirmative defenses, such as unforeseeable product misuse, are available in strict liability cases. However, these defenses only apply in a few situations.
Lack of causation is the most common defense in these cases. For every expert witness who testifies about a product’s hazardous nature, the company often produces another “expert” who testifies that the product is perfectly safe. So, only the most solid defective product claims hold up in court.
What is an example of a defective product case?
The Philips CPAP machine lawsuits are a good example of a defective product case. These machines, which sleep apnea victims use to get a restful night’s sleep, have a manufacturing defect that could cause cancer. Other recent examples of defective product claims include 3M combat earplugs and Roundup, both of which are design defect cases.
“Excellent attorneys and staff!! My attorney, Peter, and his paralegal, Katrina, went ABOVE & BEYOND to get me a settlement that was even higher than my own personal bottom line. I highly recommend Strong Law for all your personal injury claims. I would not have been able to navigate this 3-year long journey without them! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!”