In a product liability lawsuit, where a
person is injured or that’s brought by family who’s lost a loved one, for a
defective product that’s caused the injury or the death, there are several different types of
things that the family can try to recover. And ultimately it’s going to
come down to whatever a jury decides. Now sometimes these cases can settle in
advance, but generally it’s going to require the person or their family to
bring the lawsuit, to file it in court, to move forward to do discovery, and ultimately go
before a jury. And the jury can look at several different factors. Number one:
something called economic damages. That means any chalkboard numbers that can be shown that the person’s actually lost, in terms of medical bills; past medical
bills, future medical bills. Lost wages; past lost wages, future lost wages. And
other types of money that they may have lost, for example, the cost of
their vehicle if it was destroyed. Those are the economic damages; those are
relatively straightforward. The second type of damages that a person can try to recover in a product liability lawsuit, is what’s referred to
as non-economic damages. Those typically are things like the pain and
suffering, the mental anxiety, the what’s called the loss of consortium; in other
words the loss of the relationship that a person has. And these are really more
the human elements, the human part of the case, that really are very difficult to
try to quantify, in terms of the number. They tend to be the biggest part of a
case, for example, when someone loses a loved one, if it was a child for example,
there may be no economic damages, but it’s something that is going to really
be driven by the facts of the case; the unique circumstances of the loss or the
injury and ultimately what a jury decides to do. And that’s really,
especially in the circumstances of non-economic damages, that’s really what it’s going to come down to: what will a jury do, what
value will a jury put on those non-economic type damages, combined with the economic damages. And so, just in general, it’s going to depend upon
the jurisdiction, it is going to certainly depend upon the facts of the case, but in
general, it is the economic damages and the non-economic damages that a person can hopefully try to pursue through a product liability lawsuit.