Posted on Tuesday, February 26th, 2019 at 9:36 pm
Every year, there are thousands of cases filed regarding defective product liability. Product liability means that the manufacturer, seller or company is held responsible for the manufacturing and distribution of defective products. An inherent defect in products causes damage to the consumers, consequently becoming the subject to the defective product liability claim. According to product liability law, once this claim is made, the company or manufacturer has to pay for compensation for the damage and loss caused by that defective product.
How a Product is claimed as Defective?
Claims regarding defective products are based on factors such as strict liability, negligence, or violation of warranty of fitness of the product. Although, products are considered tangible things, however, the purview of this claim has expanded to the intangibles, naturals, writings or real estate. This claim can be made against any party involved or relevant to the defective product:
- Assembler or installer
- Manufacturer of other parts of the products
- The Wholesaler
- The retailer or seller of the product
Regardless of the jurisdiction of the party, the plaintiff has to prove that the product is defective. There are three main categories of a defective product which will determine the validity of the claim:
Defect while Manufacturing the Product:
Most often the claims are made under this category. A claim about the defect in a product during manufacturing which has caused an injury to the consumer is appropriate. The product had already a flaw in the making at the factory which caused the damage.
For instance, if there is a bicycle with a weak chain or cracked frame, a defective batch of medicine with a harmful substance, or car with defective airbags or tires. In order to prove such cases, the injury should have occurred due to a manufacturing fault and not the defect that developed later on.
Defects in Designs of the Products:
Defects in design also cause injury and the subsequent claim will be made as the product was inherently hazardous. This claim will not be made given an error or mistake, instead, the whole range of the product is dangerous, regardless of the fact that the defective product was made according to the requirements.
For instance, the airbags do not protect completely, are too thin to absorb the impact of a crash or collision; or a batch of sunglasses which does not protect the eye from ultraviolet rays.
Not Providing Enough Instructions or Warnings:
If a person uses a product and gets injured because there was no sufficient warning regarding the usage of the product, the claim will be made under the category of failure to warn. Such claims arise when a product is dangerous in such a way which is not obvious nor there a warning about the potential danger involved in using it, or the consumer needs to take extra care to use the product and nothing such is mentioned in the instructions.
For instance, an oven is packaged without any sufficient instruction that the surface gets hot after a certain temperature. The injury in such cases must be the consequence of failure to warn.
While facing these claims, the manufacturer may raise the defense that the plaintiff may have altered the product which caused the harm or he or she has not identified the supplier which may have caused harm. In such complicated situations, it is important to hire the services of a competent product liability attorney who can fight to recover your compensation.