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Understanding A Few Types Of Product Liability

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If you have been injured in some way by a product, then you may be able to file a product liability claim. This type of lawsuit may allow you to receive money from the manufacturer, installer, or store that sold or installed the product into your home. When it comes to product liability, you should understand that there are a few different types of defects. It is important to identify the defect to understand who is liable for the injury. Keep reading to learn more about defect types.

Defects In Manufacturing

If a product is designed in a way that it works as intended and without injury, then this likely means that the inventor or original creator of the product is off the hook when it comes to liability. In other words, they created a product with a specific intent and purpose, and these qualities ensure safety when the consumer uses said product.

If the idea, concept, or design is not implemented properly, then this can degrade its ability to keep the consumer safe. This can often happen during the manufacturing process. In general, manufacturing defects are ones that are not consciously implemented by the manufacturer. However, the defects are ones that are linked to careless processes or material usage, even if the manufacturer did not foresee the defect or the injury.

Manufacturing defects are rare since they are not linked to design flaws. So, this means that the manufacturer must have designed the product correctly, worked to create the correct manufacturing processes, and marketed the product appropriately. If a manufacturing defect does occur, it is often limited in scale and related to worker error in both creation and inspection of the product. Sometimes machine error and flaws in materials can cause the defects as well. 

For example, imagine that a worker in a manufacturing plant was putting together parts and pieces for an outdoor swing. The wrong screws were inserted into the bottom of the swing. When you installed the product and sat down on it, the bottom gave out, causing you to fall to the ground and injure yourself. The injury is directly caused by the worker and the insertion of the incorrect screws, even though the swing was designed to retain weight when in use. This is a flaw in the way the product was manufactured. 

When it comes to manufacturing defects, you should understand that products are often destroyed due to the defect itself. This does not mean that you do not have evidence of the defect. Something called the malfunction doctrine can be used where the actual destruction of the product is evidence itself of the manufacturing issue. 

Marketing Defects

Sometimes a product is designed with care and manufactured correctly, but the consumer is unable to use the product the way it was intended. This often happens due to insufficient warnings, use instructions, or installation manuals. If these materials are not supplied to the consumer and an injury occurs, this is called a marketing defect. 

The most common defects are ones where individuals are not warned properly about the hidden dangers of a given product. These dangers must be ones where there is a danger present when the product is used appropriately. 

For example, the vast majority of hair dryers have multiple warnings on boxes, instructions, and the dryers to keep the products away from water while in use. It is reasonable to assume that someone would use the product in a bathroom where water is present and electrocution risks are a concern. If the manufacturer fails to add electrocution warnings to the product and the consumer is unaware that such a risk exists, then the manufacturer would be liable for injuries that occur due to the lack of the warning.

There may be some arguments about what the consumer should reasonably be aware of. So, in some cases, the lack of the warning in itself may not be a strong reason for filing a lawsuit. The courts will decide whether the knowledge of danger should be reasonably understood by the consumer or not.

If you want to know more about product liability and whether or not you have a case due to an injury, then speak with a product liability attorney