Product liability refers to an area of the law whereby a party along the manufacture or distribution line of a product is held liable for injuries caused to another party as a result of a defect in that product and manufacturer/distributor negligence.
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 resulting in a shock to the user when the product is utilized.
A defective design case, on the other hand, claims that nothing went wrong during the manufacture of the product, but rather the product was inherently dangerous. One great example is that of vehicles that are designed to be top-heavy, thereby being at an increased risk of rolling over. Cigarettes are another fantastic example: tobacco products are inherently dangerous (and deadly).
Finally, a warning label case holds that the manufacturer or distributor of a product failed to make known any hazards associated with using that product. These types of suits are common in pharmaceutical cases where drug companies fail to list side effects of taking a prescription drug.
Another example of warning label negligence is the famous McDonald’s coffee case, where a person sued McDonald’s for failing to warn the customer of the nature and extent of the risk of exposure to the hot coffee, which was concluded to be dangerously hot.
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.
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If you have suffered harm as a result of a dangerous product, you need to consult with a lawyer immediately.
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