Defective Products and Product Liability
A "defective product" is one that causes some
injury or damage to a person as a result of some defect in the product, its labeling, or the way
the product was used. The manufacturer, and others involved
in the chain of commerce involving the product that caused
the injury, are often liable for injuries defective products
cause. This liability is known as “product liability.”
All states allow some form of recovery to persons injured
by "defective products." "Product liability"
cases run from the obvious (a car sold with faulty
brakes, a mislabeled product that causes injury) to the
not-so-obvious (injury from exposure to tobacco, or harmful
side effects from an improperly tested drug).
While the laws applicable to defective product cases vary
from state to state, there are three legal theories common
to all jurisdictions that can form the basis of a successful
product liability case:
Manufacturing defect. In such cases the injury
was caused as a result of defect in the manufacture of
the product. An example would be a bicycle that was built
with a small crack in the frame, which breaks when used,
causing an injury to the rider.
Design defect. In these cases the injury
was caused by a poor design (even though there may be
no defect in the individual product itself). A common
example would be a piece of industrial machinery that
was built without proper safety devices,
and as a result a worker is injured as a result while using
Failure to warn, or inadequate warning. These
cases refer to injuries caused as a result of a product
known to be potentially dangerous which was sold without
a proper warning to the consumer. An example would be
an over the counter drug sold without a warning of the
hazards of use with certain other drugs, or excessive
consumption, or possible side effects from its use.
If you or a family member has been injured because of
what you believe is a product defect, you should consult
an attorney familiar with product liability / defective
product cases at the earliest opportunity to protect you
right of recovery.