While the theory is relatively straightforward, understanding product liability in a real-world sense can be complicated. What’s more, if you’ve been harmed by a product, you may not be sure whether or not you have a product liability case.
To help you make sense of the law and how product liability claims work, here are a few product liability examples.
Types of Product Liability Cases and Related Examples
There are three types of product liability cases:
- Defective manufacturing cases;
- Defective design cases; and
- Defective labeling/warning cases.
In a defective manufacturing case, a product is properly designed, but something goes wrong during the manufacturing process rendering the product defective. An example is improperly installing an electric circuit within a product, thereby
Defective manufacturing cases: This is a typical and clear kind of product liability claim. It happens when a product’s manufacturing error leads to an injury. Such defects are due to mistakes in the manufacturing process, like in a factory. Examples include:
- An elevator with a faulty pulley system causing it to collapse, injuring passengers.
- A car missing a crucial steering component, leading to loss of control.
- A bicycle with a poorly made steering bar, causing the rider to lose control.
- Children’s toys or jewelry with harmful levels of lead.
In these instances, to pursue a product liability claim, the injury must result from the manufacturing defect. For example, if a car accident is due to a defective steering system, you can claim only if the defect caused the accident, not your own error.
Defective design cases: Here, the product’s design is inherently risky or flawed. These claims aren’t about manufacturing errors, but rather that a whole product line is dangerous, even if made correctly.
Common design flaw examples:
- A pelvic mesh that breaks down in the body, harming organs due to bad design.
- An SUV poorly designed to rollover in curves.
- A coffee maker that sprays hot liquid, causing burns.
- An inclined sleeper causing accidental suffocation in children due to its design.
- For a valid claim, the injury must be due to the product’s dangerous design. If you misuse a product, you likely won’t have a claim. You need proof of flawed design.
Defective labeling/warning cases: This claim type involves insufficient warnings or instructions for safe product use. These cases often concern products with hidden dangers or those requiring special precautions. Examples:
- Child car seats without clear installation instructions, risking child safety.
- A sleeping pill lacking a warning about possible severe side effects.
- Toys without necessary warning labels, posing injury risks.
- Like other claims, success requires proving the injury stemmed from inadequate warnings or instructions.
Do I Have a Product Liability Case?
The most important thing to think about when considering whether or not you have a product liability case is whether or not you suffered harm when using or being exposed to a product, whether or not you were using that product appropriately and as intended at the time of harm, and whether or not that harm would have occurred but for a manufacturing, design, or warning label defect.
The list of product liability examples is long; nearly any product can cause consumer harm when defectively designed or manufactured. There have been cases pursued against the manufacturers and distributors of furniture, household goods, electronics, motor vehicles, prescription drugs, and more.
Call Our Injury Attorneys Today to Learn More
If you have suffered harm as a result of a dangerous product, you need to consult with a lawyer immediately.
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