A lawsuit based on what we call “products liability” deals with individuals who have been injured due to a defective product. While we typically think of products liability cases as those dealing with injuries resulting from equipment, power tools, or machinery, products liability claims can arise when any type of product (anything from beauty products to airplane parts) is defective.
Types of Product Defects
Design Defect. If the design itself is defective, that means the problem with the product is inherent. Every one of the products has the same defect. When used in a manner for which the product was intended, it fails to function as an ordinary user would expect it to. For example, if Car Company X produces a line of tires and the tread on those tires starts to separate when a car travels at speeds greater than 80mph, those tires probably suffer from a design defect.
Manufacturing Defect. A manufacturing defect occurs when a product differs from the manufacturer’s intended design or specifications. For example, a manufacturer produces 10,000 laminated, safety glass windows. One of those windows was not properly laminated, and as a result, when it broke, the glass didn’t hold together as it should have and someone was injured. All the other 9,999 glass windows functioned properly. That injured person may be successful in a lawsuit against the manufacturer for a manufacturing defect.
Adequate Warning. A warning on a product must be adequate. A warning is adequate if it is conspicuous, understandable, and adequately describes the dangers of using the product. Courts will also consider common knowledge when assessing the adequacy of a warning. For example, it is common knowledge that fire will burn things and people, or liquid on a smooth surface will make the surface slippery.
Typical Law Governing Defective Products
There are essentially two theories of liability when it comes to product defects: (1) strict liability and (2) negligence.
Strict Liability. Strict liability requires that you show that a product was defective (see different ways a product can be defective above) and unreasonably dangerous. A product is unreasonable dangerous if it is more dangerous than an ordinary user of the product would expect, considering the product’s characteristics, risks, dangers, and uses, together with any actual knowledge, training, or experience that the user had with the product.
Negligence. If you file a lawsuit claiming a product is defective (see different ways a product can be defective above) due to negligence, you must show that a manufacturer/designer/tester/inspector/distributor did not use reasonable care when performing their responsibilities in order to eliminate unreasonable risk of foreseeable injury. The reasonable care required is the same degree of care that another, careful, manufacturer/designer/tester/inspector/distributor would use under similar circumstances.
Gathering Evidence for a Products Defect Case
As you can imagine, defense attorneys will use anything and everything possible to deflect a products liability claim, so you must work quickly to preserve evidence. Preserving evidence is key here because the product that actually caused the injury will be a main source of evidence at trial.
Click here to read more about gathering evidence for trial.
Call Red Law For A Consultation
Our office welcomes new clients and will always provide you with a friendly and professional attorney that will be happy to discuss your case with you. If you’d like to discuss your injuries resulting from a defective product and a potential lawsuit with a Red Law attorney, please call us at 801-4770-RED or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. In a consultation with a Red Law attorney, your attorney will provide you with a professional opinion of your case, how Red Law can help you, and a rough time frame for your potential lawsuit.