What is a Manufacturing Defect in a Product Liability Claim?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Brandon L. Beagley with Sloan Firm.
Manufacturing defects are one of the four primary types of defects which can be addressed in a product liability claim; manufacturing defects refer to flaws that occur in the manufacturing process that prevents the product from safely working the way it was designed to. These defects are unique and differ from design defects, lack of warning defects, and failure to account for foreseeable misuse. Unfortunately, manufacturing defects can be extremely difficult to identify without the help of a product defect expert who has the resources and knowledge to investigate the manufacturing process.
Types of manufacturing defects include but are not necessarily limited to:
- Applying too much heat or pressure to the product so that one or more parts crack, reducing its stability.
- Using the wrong type of fastener, such as the wrong size screw, bolt, or otherwise flimsy connector.
- Using outdated or unapproved components.
- Using toxic materials or paints.
- Using harmful chemicals.
- Using the wrong color paints based on industry safety regulations.
- Installing circuitry in a way that is incorrect or exposes users to potential shock.
- Assembling the product incorrectly.
If you are injured by a defective product, you may be eligible to file a product liability claim.
Product liability claims are a type of lawsuit in which someone who is injured by a defective or dangerous product can seek compensation from the manufacturer to help cover the cost of medical bills, lost wages, and even compensate for pain and suffering. However, product liability claims are notoriously difficult for someone to attempt without the help of an attorney. Industry manufacturing regulations and investigations of the manufacturing process itself can be extremely difficult to analyze and perform.
Additionally, it typically takes the help of a product safety expert to study the potentially defective product. All of this is not only costly for the average person to pursue on their own, but simply may not be possible. However, like most personal injury attorneys, product liability lawyers offer free consultations to assess a potential client’s case, and even work on contingency; this means that a client does not have to pay for their services unless and until their case is won. Equally important, most product liability attorneys even cover the cost of hiring experts to evaluate the product in question.
If you suspect a product is subject to a manufacturing defect, do not throw it away.
The most important piece of evidence in a product liability case is the product itself. It’s important to both maintain possession of the product and if possible leave it in the condition it was in when the injury occurred. If you have already sent the item to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), you may ask to have it returned to you.
Additional evidence that could be paramount to proving how the defect manifests and what damages occurred include pictures of the product from multiple angles, pictures of any injuries or property damaged as a result, and any packaging, instructional material, or even a receipt that came with the product. However, it’s important to remember that every state has a different statute of limitations or window of time in which an injured party is eligible to file a product liability claim. In Texas, as well as many other states, the statute is two years from the date of the injury.
To learn more about manufacturing defects or for help investigating a possible claim, reach out to a product liability attorney in your area.