What most consumers probably don’t realize is there are three different types of product defect liability. When products go wrong and cause injury, the majority of people are likely to first turn to the retailer or supplier of the product. However, it is chiefly the manufacturer who is responsible for the safety of products.
As a consumer, it is important to understand where to turn when you, a child, or employee is injured by a defective product. Below you will find detailed descriptions of the three types of product defect liability and how they may apply to your circumstances.
Defect in Design
The first type of product defect liability centers on the design of the product. If the product is designed in a way that could lead to injury, it may be considered defective. Certain products, such as chainsaws and other power tools, can cause injuries due to the nature of their intended purpose. However, these products are still expected to meet a specific standard.
If a product is not tested according to the expected standards for the product type, you may have a case for proving product defect liability at the point of design. For instance, a product catching fire, when such a scenario is not a reasonable expectation from normal use, would be considered defective. Testing products is an essential part of the design process, as it allows manufacturers to identify and correct any defects.
A product design may meet all relevant safety expectations and still go to market with defects, as a result of the manufacturing process. This type of product defect liability is most associated with recalled products. For instance, a range of cars from a certain year may have picked up a dangerous defect during manufacturing, whereas the same range from other years is not considered defective.
A manufacturing defect is the result of a problem that occurred during the production of the product. For example, a machine in a factory that was configured incorrectly may result in parts that are the wrong size. If a working part is defective and jams or causes other issues with the product, it could result in injury to the user.
The term “marketing defect” is not what it sounds. What the term actually means is a manufacturer is responsible for product defect liability if the product does not come with adequate warnings and instructions. There are certain products that are considered unavoidably dangerous due to what they are designed for or limitations in how the products are designed.
While these products are deemed safe for sale to general consumers, they must come with warnings and instructions for safe use. Everyone knows a chainsaw is a dangerous tool but that doesn’t mean accidents don’t happen. In the case of products that are unavoidably dangerous, the information the user is provided is intended to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.
H. Lehman Franklin P.C.
If you have been injured by a product and are not sure
whether product defect liability applies, reach out to the experts from H.
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