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Product Liability


Any product may be subject to defects and depending upon the nature of the product or use, consequences could be severe. If a product has a defect that causes injury, or if the proper safety instructions or precautions are not taken, there could be a case for a product defect lawsuit.

Common Types of Product Defect Cases

There is no limit to the types of products that could cause injury and, thus, be a possible product defect legal case. Some common product defect cases have included food products, toys, medical devices, auto defects, pressure cooker explosions, burns from electric blanket fires, and carbon monoxide poisoning caused by products.

Types of Product Defects

There are four primary types of product defects:

  •  Manufacturing Defects. These occur due to a flaw in the manufacturing process that prevents a product from working the way it is designed to.
  • Design Defects. This occurs when a product fails it’s intended purpose due to a problem with the actual design of the process rather than an issue in the manufacturing process. This often happens when a product claims to perform certain functions, but users find the design makes those functions impossible or dangerous.
  • Products Lacking Adequate Warnings. A common defect is the failure to provide appropriate warnings regarding how to use a product safely. Written warnings are required when a product could cause damage or injury.
  • Failure to Account for Foreseeable Misuse. This grey area of product defects isn’t a true defect, but failure to warn how not to use a product. This would be the “do not stick metal objects into the light socket” type of warning.

Product Defect vs User Error

Some defects are easy to identify, while others might be more subtle. First, use common sense. An inherently dangerous product, such as a saw or chopping tool, can easily cause injury due to a user failing to behave reasonably to safety or not following instructions, or even bad luck. However, if a dangerous product failed because it did not include the proper safeguards or instructions, there could be a case. When an injury or damages occur to a consumer from a product which should pose no danger at all, this is a strong indicator that a defect exists.

What to Do if You Think You Have a Case

First, don’t assume you do or don’t have a case. Seek medical attention if you have an issue. This creates proof of the encounter as well as timing for the incident. Second, do not throw the product away or its packaging. This will be key evidence in your case. Third, seek the council of a personal injury attorney right away. This attorney does not have to be near you. It is best to hire an expert in the product category that someone based on proximity.

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