"Assumption of the risk" is a legal doctrine under which a person who engages in an activity or uses a product can take on the risk of harm to himself that such activity or product may bring. It is an affirmative defense at trial, meaning that in a lawsuit such as a products liability action the defendant must raise the defense in its pleadings or the defense will not be available.
As a general rule, an action for products liability in Ohio based on the defective design or manufacture of a product or actionable misrepresentations made about a product can seek compensatory damages for injuries or damage or destruction to property (other than the defective product itself). Although products liability law in Ohio is governed by state statutes, its legal theory retains some of its common law concepts, including the possibility under some circumstances of recovering exemplary or "punitive" damages in addition to compensatory ones.
Written By: Tyler Shroyer
An ongoing case in a federal district court in Toledo, Ohio, presents an example, on the macro level, of the serious consequences that unreasonably dangerous products can have on individuals. The defective product manufacturer, DePuy Orthopedics, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, has already agreed to pay out $2.5 billion to settle more than 7,500 claims arising from a defective hip implant; now it has agreed to come up with more than $400 million more to settle another 1,400 claims. This extension of the settlement will still leave claims outstanding.
Whenever anyone believes that they have a legal claim, whether it is against a person or a company, that claim must be brought within a certain time limit. If a lawsuit is filed after that time limit has expired, it will almost certainly be dismissed. The legal term used for this time limit is the "statute of limitations."
Products liability lawsuits can be based on a variety of issues that arise with the product. The product can be inherently dangerous, can be mislabeled or have inadequate warnings on its label to prevent injury, or can be altered by a seller after it is shipped from the manufacturer for sale. But one issue that arises less frequently in products liability law is whether the manufacturer or seller can be held responsible when a product is used in a criminal act and some characteristic of the product made it more likely to be used in such an act.
A distinguishing characteristic of product liability law in Ohio is that it can tie in defendants throughout the chain of distribution from the time the defective product was designed to the point where it left the store.
People take steps every day to stay safe and protect their loved ones. We wear our seat belts, check warning labels on tools and consult a doctor before taking medication. However, even the most reasonable person taking the most reasonable steps to stay safe can end up getting seriously injured if another party fails to take the same precautions.
When an everyday product is responsible for consumer injury, there may be grounds to hold liable the company that manufactured the defective item. A dangerous product can lead an individual to suffer serious injury or illness, or may even result in consumer death.
Patient harm in the medical industry is a serious and understandable concern in Ohio and across the rest of the country. Myriad studies from a number of sources have chronicled in recent years the frightening extent to which medical industry negligence has resulted in medication error, misdiagnosis, egregious surgical mistakes, hospital-acquired infections and other patient-adverse outcomes.