If you have been injured or have suffered other damages because of a product you used, then you may have a defective product liabilityclaim. Though the range of defective cases is broad, the claims normally fall into three categories of product liability: (1) defective manufacture, (2) defective design, (3) failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions concerning the proper use of the product.
Understanding these categories will help you determine whether or not you have a valid claim, as well as the strategy to use in presenting your case.
Defective Manufactured Products
This is perhaps the most obvious type of product liability claim. This is when the injury-causing product was defectively manufactured. A defectively manufactured product is flawed because there was some sort of error when making it. This could have been a problem at the factory when it was made. As a result, the injury-causing product is somehow different than the rest of the products on the shelves.
Examples of a manufacturing defect include:
- A swing set with a cracked chain
- A tainted batch of cough syrup containing a poisonous substance
- A moped missing its break pads
Defectively Designed Products
The second type of product liability is when a product’s design is inherently dangerous or defective. Defective design claims are not the result of some error or mishap in the manufacturing process, but rather involve the claim that an entire line of products is inherently dangerous, regardless of the fact that the injury-causing product was perfectly made according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Examples of a design defect include:
- A particular model of car that has a tendency to flip over while turning a corner.
- A type of sunglasses that fail to protect the eyes from ultraviolet rays.
- A line of electric blankets that can electrocute the user when turned on high.
Failure to Provide Adequate Warnings or Instructions
This third type of product liability claim involves a failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions about the products proper use. Failure-to-warn claims typically involve a product that is dangerous in some way that’s not obvious to the user or that requires the user to exercise special precautions or diligence when using it.
Examples of failure-to-warn claim include:
- An electric teakettle that is packaged without sufficient warning concerning its oddly positioned steam valve.
- A cough syrup that does not include on its label a warning that it may cause dangerous side effects if taken in combination with another commonly taken drug or aspirin.
- A corrosive paint-removing chemical that is sold without adequate instructions for safe handling and use.
If you have any questions about product liability claims or are in need of legal advice or representation, please contact us.