A federal court has ruled that South Carolina’s tort reform statute’s do not require an expert affidavit in a products liability case. In Oakman v. Lincare, Mr. Oakman died after a medical device that provided oxygen to him caused him to suffer a burn injury claim and need South Carolina burn injury lawyers as a result of a defective product in South Carolina. Hughey Law Firm burn injury lawyers and South Carolina product liability attorney Nathan Hughey have handled claims alleging products liability, strict liability, negligence, breach of warranty, arising out of unreasonably dangerous products due to its manufacturing and design defects, failure to warn lawsuits. In these claims, which sometimes involve extensive physical injuries or death, claims include pecuniary loss of service, mental anguish, loss of consortium, emotional trauma, from devices that are marketed, promoted, advertised, distributed, and sold by companies. These companies are liable for placing a defective product into the stream of commerce based on South Carolina law and on the principle of seller liability. Also, they may be liable for falsely misrepresenting that the product was safe.
In Lincare, the defense lawyers, who notably get paid by the hour, filed motions claiming that an expert affidavit was required as to defective design by a professional engineer contemporaneously with her complaint. The Court’s noted, “The South Carolina General Assembly enacted the Frivolous Civil Proceedings Sanctions Act (“FCPSA”) in an effort to prevent the filing of frivolous lawsuits and initiate the investigation and settlement of cases prior to the filing of complaints.” In this case, the Plaintiff noted that no expert affidavit was necessary for her defective design claim because “the lawsuit was not being brought against any individual professional engineer,” but “against corporate entities.”
The Court noted that South Carolina’s tort reform laws restrict a plaintiff’s common law right to bring a malpractice claim by imposing this simultaneous filing requirement. Grier, 725 S.E.2d at 697. For this reason, its language must be strictly construed and agreed with the Plaintiff.