There are many products that we use in our daily lives, and thousands more that we have to choose from on store shelves. Recently, in the case of Fox v. Johnson & Johnson, a North Dakota jury returned a verdict in favor of a group of plaintiffs who brought a wrongful death claim against common household goods product maker Johnson & Johnson. The plaintiffs alleged that Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder based products caused their mother to develop cancer and that the cancer ultimately took her life.
When a product results in an injury or death, the victim or the victim’s surviving family members can bring a product liability action against the manufacturer. There are three ways that plaintiffs can recover under this cause of action. First, the plaintiffs can demonstrate that the product at issue was designed in an unreasonably unsafe manner. Second, the plaintiffs can show that although the product was reasonably safe in its design, the particular unit that the victim received suffered from a defect during the manufacturing process that rendered the product unreasonably dangerous.
Finally, a plaintiff can show that a product was not reasonably safe because it failed to include proper warnings or instructions on how to use the product. Plaintiffs are not limited to choosing one of these three theories of recovery can assert all three of them where applicable.