Millions of Americans are injured (or worse) by dangerous and defective products each year. When this occurs, they have the option to sue the manufacturer and others for product liability. Below are explanations of the three basic categories of product liability allegations. Defective will fall into one or more of these categories.
Defects in Manufacturing
This is perhaps the most common form of products liability and the easiest to understand. Companies often manufacture thousands or even millions of the same products, and quality problems can occur along the way.
Examples of manufacturing defects could include:
- A batch of over-the-counter medicines that becomes tainted with an ingredient that is poisonous or otherwise dangerous to health
- A production line of motor vehicles that contain inadequate seatbelts that may fail in the event of a crash
- A children’s toy containing batteries that can overheat and catch on fire
Products with manufacturing defects are a regular source of recalls by the manufacturers or government groups like the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Defects in Design
In some ways, design defects are more dangerous than manufacturing problems because their dangers are not isolated to a particular batch or manufacturing facility. Each and every item could be dangerous because the hazard is inherent in the design itself.
Examples of dangerously designed products could include:
- Infant cribs designed to fold for storage that can trap and suffocate babies because the folding parts were not designed sturdily enough
- A model of SUVs particularly susceptible to rollover crashes because the center of gravity is too high
- An electronic device that catches fire because the built-in battery delivers much more power than the device requires.
Defects in Marketing (Failure to Warn)
Certain products are inherently dangerous, which means that consumers must accept some risk in using them. That being said, it is up to manufacturers to provide clear instructions for safe use as well as clear warnings about risks that might not be obvious to users. Examples include:
- A medication that fails to warn users that it is unsafe to drive after ingestion or that it should not be used in combination with certain other drugs
- A electricity-powered device that fails to warn users of the risks of electric shock if a certain part is removed (especially if the part is likely to be removed by users)
- Products likely be used by children that contain small parts but do not have a warning to parents about choking hazards
Seek Help From an Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured by a dangerous/defective product, you have the right to seek compensation. Your lawsuit may also help protect others from sharing the same fate. To learn more, contact our firm to speak to one of our skilled personal injury attorneys.