Types of Product Liability Claims & Why Insurance Companies Deny Coverage

Thu Nov 16th, 2023 on     Insurance Claims,    

Product liability lawsuits are brought against manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, retailers, and other parties when products cause an injury. They are brought by individuals as well as groups in class action lawsuits and these cases can be very costly. Defendants in these suits all too often have their claims for coverage under their insurance policies unfairly denied. When this happens, a Miami insurance claim lawyer from Ver Ploeg & Marino (VPM) will advocate for the party whose claim has been improperly denied, helping them obtain the coverage to which they are entitled. If you have had your insurance company improperly deny your coverage for a product liability claim, contact our firm.

Types of Product Liability Claims

There are three main types of product liability claims. A Miami insurance claim lawyer from VPM can assist you when your claim for coverage of any of these types of product liability cases is improperly denied.  

Design Defects

A design defect is a flaw in the actual design of a product that causes the product to be harmful and thereby cause an injury. In these cases, it is not the materials that are used or a failure to warn of a danger that caused the injury but the way the product was designed. Design defects are one of the reasons why products should be extensively tested to ensure that they are safe before being released to the public. Without testing, design defects may not be identified, leading to injury to consumers. 

An example of a design defect would be a chest of drawers that is extremely top-heavy, causing the piece of furniture to be prone to falling over. Such instability could easily cause an injury when the chest topples. Another example would be a car seat whose improper design causes the straps to be too tight on an infant’s extremities, thereby cutting off their blood circulation.      

Manufacturing Defects

A manufacturing defect occurs when there is a flaw in the actual creation of the product. In other words, the design of the product is fine, but when the product was made, an error occurred that could then result in harm to a party that uses the product. Manufacturing defects, like design defects, can happen to all of the products that are created or to just one or two. For example, a machine that creates a toy could inadvertently make a small part of an infant’s toy detachable, ruining all of the toys produced by that machine. It could also only mess up one or two of the toys, thereby rendering only those toys defective.

Marketing Defects (Failure to Warn)

Products should come with warnings of any potential dangers that may exist with their use as users should understand the risks associated with a product. Products should also not be marketed in a way where false claims are made regarding what the product can do. 

Following are some examples of marketing defects:

  • A product that contains no instructions as to the way it should be properly used.
  • A new medicine that fails to list common side effects or harmful interactions with other medications.
  • An advertisement that shows the product being used in an unsafe way.

Cases involving coverage under a product liability insurance policy are typically intricate and nuanced. To best support your ability to recover under your policy, speak with a Miami insurance claim lawyer at VPM. Let us put our extensive experience to work for you. 

Florida Products Liability Statute

Under Florida Statute 768.81(1)(d), a product liability action is defined as “a civil action based upon a theory of strict liability, negligence, breach of warranty, nuisance, or similar theories for damages caused by the manufacture, construction, design, formulation, installation, preparation, or assembly of a product. The term includes an action alleging that injuries received by a claimant in an accident were greater than the injuries the claimant would have received but for a defective product. The substance of an action, not the conclusory terms used by a party, determines whether an action is a products liability action.”

Our attorneys understand this statute and case law that interprets its application. Contact a Miami insurance claim lawyer from our firm today.

Reasons Insurance Companies Deny Coverage For Product Liability Claims

Costs Involved

One of the main reasons insurance companies deny coverage for product liability claims is because of the costs involved in these claims. Many product liability cases involved thousands, or even millions, of dollars. When an insurance company denies a claim because they know it will be costly, even when they should cover the loss under the terms of the policy, they can be found to have acted in bad faith and held liable for their actions. A Miami insurance claim lawyer from VPM can assist when your insurer acts in bad faith. 

Separate Occurrence Argument

Insurance companies sometimes attempt to limit coverage by claiming that every product failure is a separate occurrence and, therefore, the policyholder should have to pay a separate deductible for each one. Our attorneys will study the terms of your policy to ensure you are not being asked to pay for deductibles that you do not actually owe under the terms of the insurance policy. If you are unsure as to your obligations under the terms of the policy or have questions about your coverage, a Miami insurance claim lawyer can help. 

Consult With A Miami Insurance Claim Lawyer At VPM When Your Product Liability Insurance Claim Has Been Denied

If you are a manufacturer, supplier, distributor, or other party and you have had your claim for product liability coverage improperly denied by your insurance company, contact VPM and schedule a consultation with a Miami insurance claim lawyer. We are experienced attorneys who only represent policyholders who have had their claims unfairly denied or delayed.

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