Products Liability can arise from a wide variety of products. Products liability can arise when someone is hurt or property is damaged because a product did not perform the way it should have. The defective product can be just about anything ranging from large machinery to something as small as a lithium battery in a cell phone or an E-cigarette. The reports in recent years of cell phones and electronic cigarettes catching on fire and burning the user would be one example of a potential products liability case.
The obligation of the manufacturer to make a safe product includes the duty to design, manufacture, inspect, and label a product appropriately. Not only do these laws apply to manufacturers of machines, vehicles, and other common consumer products, but also to makers and sellers of medical device implants and drug manufacturers.
Generally, a products liability, or defective product case, will involve one or more of the following allegations:
Manufacturing Defect Claims
In this situation, a product may very well have been designed to meet safety standards, but the workers that assembled that particular product were careless in the manufacturing process, which resulted in the product not working properly and causing harm. Examples of manufacturing defect claims could include the following:
- A food or drink product that was contaminated
- A pressure cooker exploding because the steam valve was installed incorrectly
- Ladder rung snapping with someone climbing it because it wasn’t correctly attached
- Weight machine that breaks and falls on a user because the weight cables weren’t properly secured
Design Defect Claims
In these claims, the defect arises from a poor design of the product. Here, even though the product was built according to design specifications, it caused harm to the user because the design was dangerously flawed. Examples of this type of products liability claim could include the following:
- ATV or utility vehicle that catches fire because of the heat protection plate used for that model wasn’t adequate;
- A riding lawnmower that wasn’t designed with a rollover protection system;
- An electric saw that was not equipped with adequate hand protection;
Failure to Warn Claims
The final category involves products that may be designed and manufactured adequately but have an inherent danger in using the product that the manufacturer did not warn the customer about in its labeling and marketing. Examples of failure to warn product liability claim could include the following:
- Dangerous side effects or interactions from a prescription drug
- Detergent pod maker not warning parents of the risk that small children were attracted to the pod and commonly confused them with candy
Cases involving defective or unsafe products are complex and typically require expert testimony on behalf of the injured person. For these reasons, it’s important to seek a firm that has experience is defective product cases and the resources to fight the manufacturer.
Proving that a manufacturer is responsible for a defective product can be complicated and expensive. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury caused by a defective product, you may have a products liability claim against the manufacturer and/or seller of that product.