Injuries and damages are important aspects of product liability cases. These facts are often the facts that receive the most attention in the media. In addition to these elements, however, there are other facts that an individual must highlight to be successful with a product liability case.
A recent case proceeding in federal court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania demonstrates just how important these other elements can be. In fact, they can dictate the case at early stages of the litigation.
A man from a neighboring state filed the class action product liability action. He sued the drug maker of a diabetes drug, claiming that the company masked the risks of the drug by fraudulently advertising the drug. Unfortunately for the man, the judge presiding over the matter decided to dismiss the case earlier this month.
The judge had apparently given the plaintiff numerous opportunities to amend the complaint in compliance with the law, which requires a plaintiff to set forth certain facts regarding the product's warranty. At the time of the dismissal, the judge noted that the complaint still failed to include these allegations. As a result, the judge dismissed the complaint.
There are many sorts of claims that a plaintiff can assert when filing a product liability case. Product liability law is a sort of hybrid of tort and contract law. This means that a plaintiff has the option of asserting both negligence and warranty claims.
If a plaintiff asserts a claim for breach of express warranties, there are additional facts, besides injuries and damages, which a plaintiff must allege. In particular, a plaintiff may need to set forth the specific warranties that the company actually made.
In terms of this case, this standard requires the man to have presented the specific warranties included with the diabetes drug. Without such allegations, a court cannot properly assess whether the warranties were in fact breached. Thus, while an individual may be able to show damages, without statements about the actual warranty it is difficult to successfully proceed with a lawsuit.
Source: The Pennsylvania Record, "Judge dismisses with prejudice man's third amended class action complaint against GSK over Avandia," Jon Campisi, Oct. 18, 2013