As everyone knows, from watching the news and reading the paper, China is now America’s manufacturer. They make the majority of low tech products used in America, while America makes more of the higher technology products. However, even when America makes higher technology products, portions of those products are made in China. These components are usually then shipped to Taiwan or America for final assembly with other components.
When European companies, or companies located in many other parts of the world, manufacture a product and ship it to the United States, and that product then injures someone in America, those companies can be sued in America. The reason is that they are part of a treaty which allows for a lawsuit here. The same happens when American companies ship their products overseas to those same countries. However, despite China being the largest manufacturer of low tech goods sold in America, China is not part of such a treaty! Indeed, if you want to sue a Chinese corporation, you need to translate your lawsuit into Chinese (Mandarin), file it in China, and then allow your lawsuit to be fixed by the Chinese government before being filed! The Chinese government will then oversee the litigation to ensure that you receive nothing or almost nothing. When a Chinese factory produces a product which is defective and which is sold in America, how do you get around the need to sue the Chinese manufacturer?
Products liability law in Georgia concerns the liability of a manufacturer or designer of a product. When the manufacturer is not in America and you need to find another defendant, you may be able to sue the corporations that sold the product. However, the seller is not liable for a defectively designed or manufactured product unless the seller was aware of the hazard or was involved in the design or manufacture of the product. A seller will claim that they were not aware of the hazard and often get out of these lawsuits on summary judgment, i.e. the court dismisses them as a matter of law before there is a jury trial. See Product Liability.
We have successfully gotten around the Chinese manufacturer defense by showing that those who sell products, whether being the importer, a wholesaler, or retailer, had knowledge of the hazard. We have found proof of same in everything from files concerning the design and testing of a product to emails between the Chinese and the American entities. Additionally, design files sometimes show that the American company can actually be held liable as the designer or manufacturer of the product despite their usual claim that they are simply importing a Chinese product.
An example of the above is a piece of exercise equipment which broke and recoiled into one of our client’s eyes, blinding him despite five surgeries. Of course, the entire manufacturing was performed in China. We sued three companies in America, including the company which was the wholesaler/importer, the distributor who bought the product from the wholesaler, and the company which sold the product via stores and its website throughout the United States. Various theories, including that the American companies were really at least partial designers of the product and that they knew of the hazard prior to the date of the injury, resulted in an eventual settlement. As with any catastrophic type injury, our firm hired a Lifecare Planner to determine the future medical costs, an economist to determine the present value of the future stream of lost wages and the cost of the Lifecare plan, a warnings expert in regard to the failure of the American companies to warn about known hazards of the product, and a design expert concerning the improper design of the product and to devise a safer cost-effective alternative.
To learn how we can help you after being injured, call us at 912-212-2100 or click here.
"I was pregnant and injured in an automobile accident. Mr. Owens, personally, came to the hospital. He told me he would handle everything, I just needed to get healthy for the baby and myself. Mr. Owens did everything he said he would. I highly recommend Owens and Mulherin. Everyone in their office is friendly and informative. You're not just another client with them, they genuinely care." - Lindsay Chadwick
"Highly recommend working with this group!! They are very friendly, understanding, caring people and very easy to talk to. They Gave us plenty of time to talk with them. Did not make us feel rushed and explained everything thoroughly. Made the experience the best possible and we had a positive outcome during a tragic time. Thank you to the attorneys and entire staff." - Cindy Shuman
"I found Mr. Owens to be very professional and extremely sympathetic towards my needs as a result of my injuries. His experience helped guide me through my case and we ultimately won in the end...settled out of court! Thanks for all your help!" - Diane Calahan
"Following an automobile accident I sought representation from Wil Owens. Throughout the process he and his staff were always very kind, informative, and diligent in protecting my rights and interests. I knew my case was minor comparatively speaking, however, they never minimized the importance of my situation or claim. I would highly recommend this local law firm!!Sincerely,Christi (Fry) Vinyard" - Christi Fry
"This was my first time having to get an attorney and my experience was great. They make sure you fully understand everything that's going on and make sure the case is settled in your favor. I highly recommend this attorney office if you need one." - Dee James
"Absolutely 100% the best law firm around. I was completely blown away by the staff with all their generosity and helpfulness every step of the way. Wilbur Owens is hands down the best attorney I have ever met. He was caring, professional, and helpful in all aspects of my case, from the very begining with all my treatments to the very end with my settlement. He was highly recommend to me and I have heard nothing but great things about him and his firm. They truly are the best around and if ths need were to arise again in the future I will gladly come to the law firm of Owens and Mulherin. Wonderful people and they gave me my life back as well as piece of mind, and for that I am and always will be truly thankful." - Courtney Graves
"I had a good experience with Mr. Owens and Ms. Teresa. They were very professional and was on point. It was a long process but it was worth the wait. I would recommend anyone to this lawfirm." - Ashley Robertson
"My thanks to Mr. Owens and his crew. After getting injured at work , and not knowing what to do I found them thru a local web search. Everyone in the office was great, Will walked me thru my case and explained how it would go. After everything I would highly recommend this law firm. I can't say enough of Mr. Owens and his staff . Thank you for your help!" - Mark Kalla
"I worked with Mr. Ownens and his team for my most recent accident involving 2 uninsured motorists, and I am extremely pleased with the way my case was worked, as well as the outcome. I cannot say anything negative about the law firm whatsoever, but I can tell you that being hit by uninsured vehicles is a nightmare." - Nic Schuman
"Loved working with me. Mulherin. Didn’t make me feel rushed or pinned against a wall. He gave me the beat and worse case scenario. Went to bat for me when the insurance company thought they could get away with being cheap. Brooke was amazing to work with to. Always answered calls or emails in a timely manner." - Natasha Campbell
Mr. Owens devotes his practice exclusively to representing plaintiffs in personal injury and wrongful death claims. His primary focus is automobile/tractor-trailer accidents, dog bites, slip/trip and falls, medical malpractice, injuries from dangerous products, job injuries and nursing home abuse. Before joining forces with Mr. Mulherin to open Owens & Mulherin in 2001, Mr. Owens worked…
Mr. Mulherin represents individuals in personal injury cases. His primary practice areas are automobile accidents, tractor-trailer collisions, medical malpractice claims and workplace injuries. Before forming Owens & Mulherin with Mr. Owens in 2001, Mr. Mulherin practiced at Bouhan, Williams & Levy, LLP, from 1984 - 2000, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in personal injury cases.…