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The Three Ways a Product can be Defective and Dangerous

Manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and marketers of consumer products have the responsibility known as product liability. This means that they must take adequate care to ensure that the products they produce and promote are safe for consumer use. When a product can potentially cause injury, these parties are required to adequately warn users of this risk and take steps to mitigate it by providing clear safety warnings and instructions for the product’s use. Various issues can render a product unsafe for users, as outlined below.

Individuals who suffer injuries from using defective products can seek compensation for their damages through personal injury claims. Damages sought can include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering expenses.

Manufacturing Defects

When a product would work properly if it was manufactured according to its design, but a flaw in the manufacturing of one or more of its parts renders it unsafe for users, the product has a manufacturing defect. A manufacturing defect could also be an error in the product’s construction that makes it likely to break, overheat, or operate incorrectly.

Unsafe Designs

The opposite of a manufacturing defect is an unsafe design defect. When a product is produced exactly as its blueprint requires, but the design itself is somehow flawed, the product is considered to have an insufficient or unsafe design. Examples of unsafe designs include:

  • Hair dryers and similar devices that can overheat;
  • Tables and desks with legs that cannot support them; and
  • Children’s toys that contain small parts that can pose choking hazards.

Sometimes, parts and functions that can potentially be dangerous are necessary for a product. For example, a coffee machine needs to become hot in order to make coffee and a knife must be sharp in order to cut through food. These are not design defects. A product’s design is only defective if the product reasonably should not pose the injury hazard it poses, like a table that can easily collapse when a reasonable amount of weight is placed on it.

Insufficient or Inaccurate Labeling and Marketing

With an inherently dangerous product like a sharp knife or a power tool, the product’s injury risks and safe operating instructions must be clearly labeled on the product or its packaging. A victim who is injured because of a lack of accurate, conspicuous labeling or misrepresentation of a product can file a product liability claim and cite inaccurate marketing as the reason for his or her injury.

Work with an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or your child are suffering from an injury after correctly using a consumer product that malfunctioned, was unexpectedly unsafe, or its hazards were not advertised clearly, you could have grounds for a product liability claim. To learn more about filing and pursuing this type of claim, contact our team of personal injury lawyers at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd today to set up your initial consultation with a member of our team.

Published September 26, 2017
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