Many people have heard the term “product liability”, but may not realize exactly what that encompasses. Product liability law is an area of the law that tries to compensate victims who have been injured due to the negligence of the manufacturer, retailer, wholesaler or distributor of a product. Product liability lawsuits are generally based on one of three theories of liability: design defects; manufacturing defects; or failure to warn.
Product liability cases that are based on a design defect can be though of as “planned defects”. Of course, that does not mean that the manufacturer or designer intentionally planned the defect. It refers to the fact that the defect was in the planning or design of the product itself. In design defect cases, all of the products manufactured with that design are faulty or defective. For instance, if a company that designed brake pads for vehicles designed a set of brake pads that cease to work at speeds over 80 miles per hour, that would be an example of a design defect.
Manufacturing defects, on the other hand, can be considered “unplanned defects”. In a manufacturing defect case, the product would have been defect free but for a problem during the manufacturing process. In a manufacturing defect product liability case only a portion of the product is generally defective. Take the same example of a company that manufacturers brake pads. Imagine that some of the pads were not properly coated during the manufacturing process and caused just those brake pads to fail at speeds over 80 miles per hour. That could be an example of a manufacturing product liability case.
Failure to warn cases are a little different. Some products, by their very nature, are dangerous. Furthermore, some products cannot be made completely safe regardless of how they are designed or manufactured. In those cases, the manufacturer of the product has a duty to warn consumers about the dangerous nature of the product. When a manufacturer fails to warn consumers, it can be the basis for a product liability lawsuit. Take, for example, chemical paint strippers. In order for the product to do the job properly, very strong chemicals must be used in the manufacturing of the product. If a consumer comes into contact, inhales or swallows the product she could be seriously injured. As a result, the manufacturer must properly warn consumers by placing warnings on the product telling the consumer about the dangers and what to do if she comes into contact with the chemicals. When a manufacturer fails to provide warnings such as these they can be held liable under the laws of product liability.
If you have been injured by what you believe to be a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation for the injuries you sustained. Contact the product liability law firm of Ledger & Associates to schedule your free and detailed evaluation. The firm may be reached by calling 1-800-300-0001 or you may visit them online at www.ledgerlaw.com