It might come as a surprise to learn that defective products are responsible for not hundreds but thousands of injuries each and every year. It could be defective safety measures in a motor vehicle, such as an airbag that doesn’t deploy. But even something as simple as a piece of furniture could be defective and cause injuries, such as in the case of Curren Collas, Camden Ellis and Theodore Mcgee, all infants around two years old that died to injuries from Ikea furniture between 2014-2015.
There are three types of product liability cases which you could bring against a product. Which is appropriate for your particular case will depend on the circumstances of the defect. We’ll look at each type of product liability case in turn but they are:
- Design defects
- Manufacturing defects
- Warning/label defects
What is a Design Defect Product Liability Claim?
This type of liability claim alleges that the product in question has a design which in and of itself makes the product dangerous. So rather than an issue arising from the manufacturing of the product, the issue arises prior to manufacturing. For example, S.R. Smith, maker of pool products, had to recall a bunch of slides they made because they were too short and children would fall off before even reaching the water.
A design is considered to be a defect if it can be classified as “unreasonably dangerous” to the user or a person near the user. However, the product must actually be made first in order to be considered unreasonably dangerous. Say a company makes a prototype and realizes there is an issue with the design and they then fix it before the product goes out to the public. The original design may have been defective but not the design that customers are given.
Unreasonably dangerous here means that the design of the product makes it so it does not perform as safely as the customer would expect it to when using it in the manner it was intended to be used. So if you use a flamethrower to BBQ your burgers and get injured, the design would not be a defect because it was used against the intended purpose.
To win a design defect claim you need to show your relationship to the product, the defective and dangerous condition of the product and a connection between the dangerous condition and your injuries.
What is a Manufacturing Defect Product Liability Claim?
These are the most common product liability claims there are. It makes sense, too, if you think about it because most companies will work hard not to have a defective design but even the best design in the world could be messed up during the manufacturing process.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you purchase a new dining room chair. The design of the chair is lovely and it poses no issues such as the toppling issue we saw as a design defect. However, in the manufacturing process a mistake was made and a smaller screw was used than what was needed. Because of this the chair no longer can hold the weight of a person and it breaks over time. The original design is sound but the manufacturing process caused a flaw.
You will need to prove that there was an issue in the manufacturing of your product and that this defect is what caused the injury you are making the claim for.
What is a Warning/Label Defect Product Liability Claim?
A warning/label defect product liability case claims that there was either a danger to the product that the manufacturer failed to inform the general public about on the label or that the product has misinformation on the label that could lead a reasonable person to believe that the product was safe to use in a way in which it wasn’t.
Warning/label claims are quite common when it comes to medications, cleaning products or even adhesives like white glue.
It can sometimes be difficult to tell if you have grounds for a warning label defect liability claim as a manufacturer is not required by law to warn against every single possible risk associated with a product. For example, a manufacturer must tell you not to ingest their shampoo but they don’t have to tell you not to ingest the bottle itself, that is just simply an unreasonable risk to have to warn the public about.
Other issues that could arise from the warning label is that it is worded poorly or it is hidden on the packaging to an unreasonable degree.
Pretty much any type of product could have a warning/label defect. These claims are quite a bit easier to prove compared to the other types because the issue in question is literally in writing. However, these cases tend to hinge on whether or not the manufacturer had a responsibility to warn you about the particular danger you endured.
A famous example of a warning label case would be the McDonald’s hot coffee incident in which a woman suffered extreme burns from a spilled McDonald’s coffee. McDonald’s admitted that it had no warning about the danger from the heat of the coffee and so ended up paying out for the claim.
What Should I Do if I Want to Press a Product Liability Claim?
If you believe that you have a product liability case on your hands then give Phillips Law Offices a call at(312) 598-0917 for a consultation today. Our experienced attorneys will be able to help you understand whether or not you have a reasonable claim on your hands.
From there they will work with you to ascertain all the facts of the case to present as evidence against the manufacturer of the defective product. It’s important to remember that these cases can be quite a lot more complicated than they first sound and so it is always best to work with an experienced attorney rather than try to go at it alone.
With Phillips Law Offices on your side, you’ll have all the support you need to press your product liability claim.
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