Every year, thousands of injuries are caused by defective or dangerous products. Products liability law, as opposed to ordinary injury law, is a set of legal rules concerned with who is responsible for defective or dangerous products, and sometimes these rules make it easier for an injured person to receive compensation for the damages they incurred.
Products liability law refers to holding manufacturers or sellers of defective products liable for placing those dangerous products in the hands of consumers. This means that responsibility could lie with all sellers of the product within the distribution chain. Generally, the law requires there are certain requirements that products must meet in order to go out to the public. So, when a product has an unexpected defect, it cannot be said that it meets ordinary expectations. Federally, products liability law doesn’t exist. It is based on state laws through theories of negligence, strict liability, and breach of warranty.
As stated above, liability for a defective product could rest with any party within the distribution chain:
- Manufacturer of component parts
- The party that assembled the product
- The wholesaler
- The retail store that sold the product
Types of Defects
As with any lawsuit and theory of liability, the plaintiff must prove that the product was defective, that the defect made the product dangerous, and that the defect was the cause of the accident and injuries. Furthermore, liability must also prove who is responsible for the defective product, and thus the injury. There are three different types of defects to look at:
1. Design Defects – This type of defect means that there was a flaw in the way the product was designed. In other words, the defect was present in a product from the very beginning, even before it was manufactured. Something within the design of the product itself is inherently unsafe.
2. Manufacturing Defects – This type of defect is one that occurs during the manufacturing or assembling of the product. Something with how it was built or put together went wrong, thus causing a flaw in the product itself.
3. Marketing Defects – This type of defect has to do with the flaws in which the product was marketed. This can be things such as improper labeling, insufficient instructions, or even inadequate safety WARNINGS.
Examples of Defective Products
- Defective vehicle
- Defective vehicle parts such as tires, brakes, suspension, etc.
- Dangerous children’s toys or products
If you have been in an accident and you think a defective product was the cause, contact us today for a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation.