Defining Product Liability and Examples of Defective Products
November 8, 2017 – Adam Mann
If you or a loved one has recently suffered an injury or other damages due to a defective manufactured product, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit to obtain compensation.
But first, it’s important to understand the different types of claims you can make, examples of these cases and where to turn for legal assistance with your claim.
What Is Product Liability?
Product liability law is a law that holds a manufacturer responsible for putting a consumer (or multiple consumers) in harm’s way due to a defective product they’ve manufactured or sold. Generally speaking, when a product results in unexpected side effects or other danger, the product is not meeting ordinary expectations of the consumer and is therefore harmful for consumption.
While there isn’t a federal law for product liability, these types of claims are managed through state laws. A product liability claim typically points back to manufacturer negligence, breach of warranty or strict liability.
Types of Product Liability
This type of defect occurs from the initial design of the product—present prior to manufacturing. It is a defect that undoubtedly makes the product unsafe for consumers.
This type of defect occurs in the manufacturing process. In this case, products were either manufactured or assembled incorrectly, resulting in an injury or other damages to the consumer. This type of defect is not as common as a marketing or design defect, as it generally only affects a limited number of products made in the manufacturing process.
Marketing and Instruction Defect
This type of defect occurs when a product is not properly marketed to consumers, which includes inaccurate or incomplete safety warnings or instructions, improper labeling, etc.
Examples of Defective Products
Examples of Design Defects:
- A brand of irons that catch fire on the high setting
- A model of car that is designed in a way that it flips easily on its side while turning corners
- A top-heavy piece of large furniture that tips over easily when pressure is applied
- A table designed with uneven legs
- A toddler toy designed with a small detachable choking hazard
Examples of Manufacturing Defects:
- A batch of medicine that contains a toxic substance
- A vehicle that is missing a mechanical part that’s integral for safe operation
- A children’s swing set sold with a broken chain
- An electric circuit that’s been installed backwards
- An airbag made without the proper mechanism to deploy in an accident
Examples of Marketing and Instruction Defects:
- A medication that doesn’t disclose all possible side effects
- A brand of cigarettes that doesn’t list specific cancers or diseases it could be the cause of
- A promotional video of a product that doesn’t show actors with necessary safety equipment
- A coffee cup that doesn’t have a warning label of hot contents inside
- A product that’s advertised with false claims (i.e. using words like “bulletproof”, “safe”, “non-toxic” or “indestructible”), which results in injury or death
Where to Turn for Legal Assistance with Your Product Liability Claim
No matter which category you believe your claim may fall under, it’s important to get legal assistance while going through such difficult circumstances. If you believe you or a loved one has experienced a personal injury, contact our team at Cohen and Cohen Law, and we’ll help you determine your best next steps with a free consultation.
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