The 3 types of product liability claims you should know
Consumers expect that the products they purchase have been vetted for safety and don’t pose an unreasonable risk for harm. This idea is often something that we take for granted even though defective products can still enter the marketplace and lead to thousands of injuries every single year.
Suffering an injury due to a defective product can be a frustrating and scary experience. These types of injuries are never anticipated, and they often leave one filled with questions. Who was responsible? Who can I turn to for help? Is there anything that can be done?
Fortunately, there are laws and regulations in place that are designed to protect the consumer. In order to help you better understand your potential case, it is helpful to consider the three types of product liability claims.
- Design Defects
The first type of lawsuit is one based on the idea that the product is poorly designed or inherently dangerous. One example might be an SUV that is particularly top heavy and is at a high risk of rolling over.
These types of claims are not an aberration in the manufacturing process that caused a mistake but a claim which affects an entire line of products and poses a significant danger to anyone else using the product which was poorly designed.
- Manufacturing Defects
The most obvious product liability claim is probably those caused by manufacturing defects, and these also happen to be the most common cause of product liability claims.
In these instances, the original design of the product is completely safe, however, something went wrong during the manufacturing process to make the product unsafe.
Essentially these products do not conform to their original design and in turn pose a risk to a small subset of users who may have received this batch of defective products. For example, consider a flawed batch of prescription drugs that have been tainted by some outside material or a car tire that was compromised and thus prone to blow-out.
- Inadequate Instructions or Warnings
It is the company’s responsibility to provide instructions on how to safely use or operate their products and to warn about any potential hazards associated with using them. These warnings should be highly visible and are required by law. For example, consider an electric tea kettle which does not warn about the potential for severe burns from an oddly positioned steam valve or a toxic paint-removing chemical which does not adequately warn about safe handling and use.
These types of claims usually involve some type of injury caused by a danger that isn’t obvious to a user or that requires the user to exercise certain precautions while using it.
Comparing the Claims
To further differentiate the three types of product liability claims we can consider the example of a single pharmaceutical drug. If someone is injured by a drug which was tainted with arsenic that fell into the batch of medicine by accident, then the claim would be based on a manufacturing defect.
If that pharmaceutical drug was made as designed but caused an unintended side effect of permanent hair loss among users, then the claim may be based on a design defect.
If the pharmaceutical drug was designed correctly and generally safe to use but was highly dangerous when mixed with alcohol and the label failed to warn about this, then the claim would be based on a failure to warn.
Every product liability claim is different, but if you believe that you’ve suffered an injury from a product then your next step is to speak with a Manhattan defective product lawyer like those at Greenberg & Stein. We will use our 75 years of combined experience to evaluate the details and merits of your case in order to help you determine whether you may be able to receive compensation for the injuries caused by a defective product.
We offer a free consultation and a 24-hour phone line, so don’t hesitate to call us if you’ve been injured by a defective product in New York City. Call us today at 888-411-3966 to schedule your free legal consultation.