Product Injury?

Please note: any information contained in this article is NOT legal advice. Please seek legal counsel from a licensed attorney for any legal advice you may need!

Have you been injured by a defective product?

Have you ever been harmed or injured using a product? Then, after your injury, or even prior, you found out that the product was defective? If this happened to you, you may have product liability claim against the manufacturer, distributor and maybe even the retailer.

What is product liability?

Product liability is the duty of a manufacturer, distributer and seller of a good to ensure the good’s safety prior to its entry into the stream of commerce (being placed into the market place). Product liability (hereinafter referred to as “PL”) is a way for consumers to hold a manufacturer, distributor and/or seller responsible for injuries (s)he sustained while utilizing the product. Please understand that in order to have a PL claim, typically, the product has to have been defective when it left the manufacturer.

In order to sue under PL the product has to be defective. However, what actually makes a product defective? A product is defective when either it has a design or manufacturing defect.

What are Design Defects?

A design defect is when the manufacturer uses a component of the product that is inferior or defective. And, as a result of using this component it makes the product unsafe. For example: Super Blenders, Inc. uses an electric motor that at times spins past its set speed; therefore, when the electric motor decides to go awry (spin faster than its set speed), the blender just flies to pieces because it was not created to contain those excessive speeds. This is an example of a design defect. Super Blenders, Inc. used malfunctioning electric motors in their blenders.

What are Manufacturing Defects?

A manufacturing defect is caused when something goes awry in the manufacturing and/or assembly process. This is not a design defect. Here, for example: during the assembly process, an assembly machine failed to install in the blender an automatic electric shutoff that would normally have been installed. In this case, the product deviated from its original blueprint.

Theories of Recovery

With the establishment of product liability as a way to impose liability onto a manufacturer, distributor and/or seller of a good, there are namely three (3) ways to recover for injuries sustained.

The theories, or legal methods to sue under are:

  • Negligence; and/or
  • Warranty; and/or
  • Strict liability.

These theories will be discussed in later articles.

Who Can Sue?

Generally, anyone who could be reasonably seen to be injured by the good has privity, or a legal authority to sue. Please note: there are a number of exceptions to this (which will be discussed in later articles).

If you feel that you have been injured by a good or product, please seek legal counsel immediately. I say immediately due to the fact that many states have statutes of limitations limiting how long after the injury a person can bring legal action against the good’s manufacturer, distributor and/or seller.

Please note: any information contained in this article is NOT legal advice. Please seek legal counsel from a licensed attorney for any legal advice you may need!

Leave a Comment