Consumer products surround us every day. At home and at work, we interact with appliances, tools and machines designed to make our lives easier. We use even more products for recreation – cars, boats and athletic equipment entertain us in our free time. Even when we are not thinking about it, at the doctor and dentist, when we receive implants, medication and medical assistive devices, we are interacting with the marketplace of goods, using products that were designed and manufactured for our consumption.
What Does Massachusetts Law Require for Products Bought and Sold in Massachusetts?
Products that are bought and sold in Massachusetts must meet certain requirements. They must be fit for their intended and marketed uses. Massachusetts laws provide what are known as warranties of merchantability – both express and implied, and a warranty of fitness for a particular purpose. Under the warranty of merchantability, every item sold by a merchant must do what it was designed to do with reasonable safety, efficiency and ease, for at least a reasonable period of time. Under the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, where the seller has reason to know of any particular purpose for which a product is to be used, and the buyer is relying on the seller’s skill or judgment to select suitable products, there is a warranty that the goods shall be fit for such purpose.
What Other Laws Protect Massachusetts Consumers and What is Chapter 93A?
In addition to the warranties provided by our law, Massachusetts consumers are protected by statute. Business practices are regulated for consumer protection by Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 93A. When the manufacturers of products breach the above warranties, or engage in unfair or deceptive practices in the marketing and sale of consumer goods, they violate Chapter 93A, also known as the Consumer Protection Statute. When products do not function how they are supposed to and cause harm to individuals, manufacturers are under an obligation to warn consumers of the risks and potential harms of using the products. When they fail to do this in a timely fashion, they are in violation of the Consumer Protection Statute, and when their violations are willful or knowing, manufacturers can be subject to double or treble damages when consumers are injured as a result of using defective products.
How Can I Recover Damages When Injured by a Defective Product in Massachusetts?
In order to recover damages for injuries sustained as a result of using a defective product, the victim must prove how and why the product is defective, and why the merchant knew or should have known of the defect. Further, to prevail on a claim for double or treble damages under Chapter 93A, the victim must prove that the merchant or manufacturer was knowingly providing a defective product. This is accomplished through careful investigation by a personal injury lawyer with experience in handling product liability claims of manufacturer’s design and production process through discovery after the filing of a lawsuit, and through consulting with experts with in-depth knowledge of different products.
SUGARMAN’s team of personal injury lawyers has decades of experience prosecuting claims arising out of injuries sustained by individuals injured by defective products. For more information about your options following an accident, call us today at (617) 542-1000 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.