Product Liability: The Basics
Have you been hurt or injured by a defective product? It is more common than you think. In New York in 2010 there were a total of 1,107 product liability cases ruled on by the U.S. District Court. All too often people like you and/or a family member are injured by a product with flaws in design, manufacturing or instructions. In some instances the manufacturer may even be aware of the faulty product, and their product liability, but concealed the issue to protect profits. It can be difficult to cope with a serious injury caused by a faulty product. If you think you have a case of product liability, here is some information that you will find useful.
What is Product Liability?
Simply put, it refers to the responsibility of the seller and/or manufacturer of a certain product to compensate for any injury or harm that the product caused. It’s a fact that products in the market can suffer from defects. These defects can easily put you at risk of injury. If it was a defective car part or medical device, your life is instantly at risk. Product Liability protects the consumer when such scenario arises.
What are the types of Product Defects?
There are three basic types of defects that can be found in a product:
- Manufacturing defect – This defect occurs in the production/construction/manufacturing process itself. It can be a result of using substandard materials or poor workmanship. In this case, only a few products may be defective in a batch. An example of this would be having a seat belt that doesn’t latch properly, thus, putting your life in danger.
- Design defect – This defect occurs when a flaw in the design makes the product dangerous or useless. In this scenario, all the products that were manufactured are considered defective. For instance, a toy in the market has an element in its design that makes it dangerous for children.
- Marketing defect – This defect occurs when a manufacturer and/or seller fails to warn you of any underlying danger/risk in using a product. If there are incomplete or improper instructions in using the product, you may have a claim as well. Even if the design and manufacturing is perfect, the risks are still there. A good example of this would be not disclosing possible side effects of a certain drug.
What are the bases of a Product Liability Claims?
There are three things on which you can base your claim:
- Negligence – Each person that is part of the designing, manufacturing, or selling of a product must always ensure that the product is safe to use at all times. If a person did not have “reasonable care” in his or her actions (also inaction), then there’s a chance that you can hold that person liable for your injury. Examples of negligence could be present in product designing which eventually leads to the design flaws. In product manufacturing, it can result to having poor-quality products.
- Strict Liability – As compared to negligence wherein you need to prove that the person is in fact negligent, this one is different. Being careful or exercising “reasonable care” is not important. If the product is deemed dangerous and preventing injury is inevitable, then the people involved in the designing, manufacturing, and distributing can be held liable.
- Breach of Warranty – There are two basic types of warranties, the express warranty and the implied warranty. Express warranty refers to statements that the manufacturer or seller guarantees, such as “This tent can withstand tough winds.” On the other hand, implied warranty refers to common expectations and guarantees that a product will be effective and safe as long as it is used properly. The warranty is considered breached if the manufacturer/seller breaks their express or implied promise in any way.
Now that you’ve been informed on the basics of product liability, you are now ready to take the next step. Contact Pulvers, Pulvers, Thompson & Friedman today for your New York for your product liability consultation. Our experienced lawyers will help you get the compensation that you deserve.