If a defective product causes an injury, illness or death, an impacted victim has the right to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer or distributor of the item. A product liability lawsuit can be based on a legal theory such as strict liability, breach of warranty or negligence. Three types of product defects can be claimed in a product liability lawsuit. Identifying the type of defect involved in your case can help you understand whether you have a valid claim.
A design defect means that something is wrong with the original design of the product that makes it unreasonably dangerous for consumers to use. There is a flaw in how the item was planned or intended that creates a heightened risk of injury or illness. Even if the item is manufactured and marketed correctly, a design defect can lead to a dangerous product that causes serious consumer injuries. An example of a design defect is an SUV that is designed with a center of gravity that is too high, increasing the risk of a rollover accident.
A manufacturing error refers to any issue or mistake that occurs during the production, creation or assembly of an item. It can describe incidents such as a piece of machinery breaking and leaving pieces of metal in a product or an assembly worker mistakenly adding the wrong ingredient to an edible product. Manufacturing mistakes can lead to many dangerous defects. An example is a batch of cough medicine that gets contaminated with a dangerous chemical during production.
The third type of product defect is a marketing mistake. This can refer to any error with the item’s packaging, labeling, directions, warnings, marketing or advertising that increases the risk of consumer injury. It is a manufacturing company’s legal responsibility to warn consumers of any risks that might not be obvious in association with using a product. If a company fails to properly package or market an item, and this leads to an injury or death, the company can be held liable. An example of a marketing mistake is a child’s toy that has small parts that aren’t safe for infants, but that doesn’t list an appropriate age range on the packaging.
In a strict product liability lawsuit, a manufacturing company can be held liable for a consumer’s injury or death even without proof of negligence. As long as the plaintiff can show that the product contained one of the three potential defects and that the product caused the injury in question, the manufacturing company will be held financially and legally responsible. The strict liability doctrine exists to protect consumers from having to prove negligence when going up against large and powerful product manufacturers.
If you or your attorney cannot establish a product liability claim based on the theory of strict liability, there may be other grounds available. You may be able to file a lawsuit on the more traditional grounds of negligence, for example, if you have proof that the defendant acted without reasonable care and that this led to a defective product. You may also be able to file a claim based on a breach of warranty. This means that the manufacturing company made a promise to consumers – such as a safety guarantee – and broke this promise.
If you or a loved one was recently injured because of a defective or dangerous product in Dallas, Texas, contact an attorney from The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. for a free legal consultation. We can carefully review the details of your accident to determine if you have grounds for a product liability case. If so, we can help you go up against one or more parties in pursuit of justice and fair financial compensation.