In many instances in which a person is injured by a harmful product, the person will be able to pursue multiple claims against the entities responsible for designing, manufacturing, and distributing the product. If a plaintiff alleging multiple claims in a product liability case is unable to prove one claim, however, it may preclude the plaintiff from recovering under other claims. This was discussed in a recent Massachusetts lawsuit in which the plaintiff sought to recover damages caused by defective transvaginal surgical mesh, but voluntarily waived her breach of the warranty of merchantability claim, resulting in the dismissal of her negligence claims. If you suffered harm because of an unsafe product, it is advisable to confer with a knowledgeable Massachusetts personal injury attorney to discuss what damages you may be owed.
Facts of the Case
It is alleged that the plaintiff underwent surgery in 2008, during which the defendant physician implanted transvaginal surgical mesh. About five years after the surgery, the plaintiff began experiencing pelvic pain, suffered unintended weight loss, and lost the ability to be intimate with her partner. She subsequently filed a complaint in multi-district litigation, asserting claims of strict liability, breach of express warranty, strict liability failure to warn, breach of an implied warranty, and negligence. She subsequently waived numerous claims, including her claims for breach of warranty. The defendants then filed a motion for summary judgment, asking the court, in part, to dismiss the negligence claim. Upon review, the court granted the defendants’ motion as to the negligence claim.
Negligence and Breach of the Warranty of Merchantability
Under Massachusetts law, a plaintiff pursuing a negligence claim in a product liability case must prove that the defendant breached the warranty of merchantability to recover under the negligence claim. In other words, while a defendant may be found to breach the warranty of merchantability without being deemed negligent, the opposite is not true.