A product liability case arises when someone along the chain of manufacturing or distributing a consumer product is responsible for damage caused by the product. Parties that can be held accountable through a product liability lawsuit include the manufacturer of component parts, the designer, the wholesaler, or the retail storeowner. In order for someone to successfully bring a product liability claim, he or she must show that the product contained an inherent defect that resulted in harm to the user.
One of the first elements to prove in a product liability case is that the product was defective. A design defect is inherent, meaning that the defect existed before the product was even manufactured. Even if the product accomplishes its purpose, a design defect can still exist if using the product creates an unreasonable danger or safety hazard. An example of a design defect is a car that has a tendency to flip when the user is turning the corner.
A manufacturing defect refers to an error in the making of the product. If a product is defectively manufactured, the creation of the product led the particular item to cause harm to users. For example, a food item contaminated with a toxic substance is considered a manufacturing defect.
A less common type of product defective refers to a situation in which the creator of the item failed to provide adequate warnings or instructions about safely using the product. In order to win a failure-to-warn claim, the plaintiff must show that the product is dangerous in a way that isn’t obvious to the user. An example of a failure-to-warn defect includes a type of cough syrup that doesn’t contain warning about its dangerous side effects when taken in combination with other common over-the-counter medications.
If you’ve suffered injuries from using a defective product, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. Walter K. Schreyer is a New Jersey attorney with more than 35 years of experience handling legal matters. To schedule a consultation with The Law Firm of Walter K. Schreyer, call (201) 383-4256.