DEFECTS CREATING PRODUCT LIABILITY
There are essentially three types of Product Liability: design defects, manufacturing defects and marketing defects.
Design Defects – a design defect is a defect in the actual design of the product that results in an unreasonably dangerous condition. This is a defect in the original idea behind how to make the product, not the way it was made; therefore, it usually involves all of the products made by the manufacturer.
Manufacturing Defects – a manufacturing defect is a defect in the assembly of a product. This typically affects a only a portion of the products made.
Marketing Defects (Failure to Warn & Improper Instruction) – sometimes a product is dangerous in a way that is not obvious to a consumer. Warning labels serve an important purpose by instructing consumers in the proper use of products and in warning them of potential risks and hazards. If a company fails in this regard, it may be liable for any resulting injury or death.
Theories of Liability – Generally speaking
Negligence – as in all claims based upon negligence, the injured person must prove that the Defendant responsible for the defective product breached a duty of care that resulted in injury or death.
Strict Liability – this is a type of streamlined negligence claim. In strict liability claims, the plaintiff is not required to show that the defendant breached a duty, but only that a defect exists and that the defect resulted in injury or death.
Breach of Warranty – if a consumer is reasonably expected to use a product, then manufacturer of the product may give a warranty (express or implied) that the product is safe for its intended use. If it is not, and the consumer is injured, they may be able to bring a claim under this theory of liability as well.
WHO MAY BE LIABLE?
Depending on the case, you may find that the manufacturer, the retailer and everyone in between may bear responsibility for the defect giving rise to an injury.
Do I have a claim?
Most Product Liability claims require a thorough investigation into the the product, the injuries, the jurisdiction and the law. In the majority of cases, an expert is required to determine whether or not there is a defect in the product. As with any case, it is very important to preserve the evidence and bring the claim as soon as possible.