Dangerous or defective products cause injuries, some serious, even fatal, to a vast number of consumers annually. In most cases, if a product doesn’t perform as advertised and causes no actual injury, consumers may return it for a refund or exchange. However, there are instances where consumers may sustain some actual harm from using the product and therefore have a personal injury claim.
Some product liability cases are based on a manufacturing defect. The Third Restatement of Torts states that a manufacturing defect occurs when “the product departs from its intended design even though all possible care was exercised in the preparation and marketing of the product.”
Many of the following types of products may be defectively manufactured or designed, and therefore cause the product to become dangerous, unsafe or unfit for its intended use.
• Alcoholic beverages
• Automotive parts
• Food and agricultural products
• Products containing asbestos
• Pharmaceutical products
• Tools, equipment, and machinery
Thus, defectively manufactured products are those which contain some flaw which makes them different from a properly manufactured product. It generally occurs at the factory of origin and results from some error during manufacturing or processing. It may result from the use of wrong materials or ingredients. Many times the cause of the defect is a substandard manufacturing practice such as poor workmanship or the use of materials of poor quality. Examples of these include:
• Use of incorrect or outdated components
• Incorrectly installing parts such as electrical circuitry
• Contaminating food or medicine with toxic or other dangerous substances
Products that are defectively manufactured and cause harm are typically products that made it through the quality control and other oversight processes, slipping by unnoticed. For an injured plaintiff to receive compensation in a product liability action, her harm or injury must have been caused by the manufacturing defect.
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