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Defective Food Products and Injury Victims’ Rights in Massachusetts

Defective products can result in serious injuries and death, and Massachusetts injury victims should understand their rights and remedies in these situations. Massachusetts encourages companies to act responsibly in the design, manufacturer, and distribution of their products by providing safety standards. If a person is injured because of a defective product, the victim or their family may hold the maker or seller of the product liable for their damages.

Under state law, there are three types of Massachusetts product liability claims: negligence, breach of warranty, and unfair and deceptive practices. Negligence claims require the victim to establish that the manufacturer breached a duty of care owed to its customers by acting unreasonably regarding their defective product. Plaintiffs pursuing a breach of warranty claim must prove that the product is not fit for the ordinary purpose for which the product is generally used. Finally, under the state’s unfair and deceptive practices law, plaintiffs may recover attorneys’ fees and additional damages if they can establish that the manufacturer acted in bad faith.

Typically, product liability claims stem from a product’s defective design, defective manufacture, or a company’s failure to warn or appropriately market the item. For example, recently, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service announced that Nestle Prepared Foods Company is recalling nearly 30,000 pounds of a chicken product found in Lean Cuisine Fettuccini Alfredo. The product does not provide a warning that the meal contains soy, a common allergen. Additionally, the product contains chicken; however, the meal is not supposed to contain meat, and does not list chicken as an ingredient.

In addition to food products, other common defective items are pharmaceuticals, medical devices, toys, appliances, machinery, and motor vehicles. In these cases, the manufacturer of the final product or any component part may be liable for defects. Additionally, in some cases, the seller or distributor may be responsible for the defective condition. Injury victims may face difficulties in recovering when the company is a foreign corporation. However, in situations where the company does not have sufficient business contacts in the United States, the distributor may be held liable.

If successful, Massachusetts law allows plaintiffs to recover for pain and suffering and special damages, including compensable losses such as medical bills and lost wages. However, many losses are difficult to quantify, and money may never make the victim whole again. Victims should contact an attorney to discuss their options and to learn more about their rights.

Have You Suffered Injuries Because of a Defective Product in Massachusetts?

If you or someone you love has been injured because of a defective product, contact the Law Offices of Barry Feinstein and Affiliates P.C. The attorneys at our law firm have over 25 years of experiencing handling and successfully resolving claims against negligent companies and insurance companies. We have the skills, experience, and resources to overcome the challenges that many Massachusetts product liability claims present. To learn more, contact our office at 800-262-9200 today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an attorney at our law firm.


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