Did you know that if you purchased a defective product, you may have the grounds for a lawsuit? All vendors, whether it be the designer, manufacturer, distributor, or seller, have the legal responsibility to ensure their product is safe for consumer use. Once that product enters the marketplace, consumers should be able to assume that the product is both effective and harmless. If it turns out, however, that the product is actually defective and harmful, the consumer may hold the responsible party legally responsible. While there are a number of ways a product might prove harmful, there are generally three types of product defects that can result in a lawsuit. In this post, our Houston product liability attorneys at Reich & Binstock will explain product liability and the types of product defects that can result in a lawsuit.
What is Considered a Defective Product?
Before we get into the types of product defects that can result in a lawsuit, it’s important to understand defective products in and of themselves. A defective product arises when someone uses said product for its intended purpose, yet it presents an unreasonable risk of danger or harm. Some more common examples of defective products may include any of the following:
- Auto parts and design defects
- Pharmaceutical drugs
- IVC filters
- Medical devices
- Power tools
- Construction equipment
- Home appliances
- Household products
- Children’s toys
- Sporting goods and recreational equipment
- Gardening tools
Who is Responsible for a Defective Product?
Product designers, manufacturers, distributors, marketers and sales operations each have clear responsibilities and safety standards that they must adhere to when producing safe products. One of these is properly warning consumers of any and all potential dangers relating to the product.
To prevent defective and dangerous products from reaching consumer markets, vendors of all kinds must provide proper safety warnings. Additionally, it is the responsibility of these parties to recall defective products in cooperation with federal guidelines as necessary. That is to say if they are not aware of the defect when producing it but are made aware of it after the fact, they should notify the public and take their product off the market immediately.
Types of Product Defects
Product defects may arise due to poor workmanship, faulty design, or careless assembly or packaging. It can also occur when a company fails to warn of a product’s potential risks or hazards. There are endless possibilities when it comes to products that are defective. However, all of these can be categorized into three main types: design, manufacturing, and marketing defects. Below, we will break down each of the three types of product defects that can result in a lawsuit.
Some products are inherently flawed from the very beginning of the product’s lifespan. Whether it was poorly thought out or improperly tested, the product simply missed the mark. If a product causes a preventable injury to a consumer and proves to be unsafe for its intended use, this is what we call a design defect. A product with a defective design likely means that all of those that are still being sold are also defective or harmful. In this case, you’re able to file a design defect claim against the company that manufactured the product and seek compensation for your losses.
If it’s proven that the original design of the product is not what caused the injury, your attorney will look into the manufacturing of the product. What this means is that rather than the initial, intended design of the product, they will look further into the actual construction of the product. If an error was made during the stage of its assembly, it would be a manufacturing defect.
Finally comes marketing defects. A marketing defect is what one might consider the last stage of product defects. In this case, it may not even be the product itself that is harmful or misleading, but rather, the package or instructions it came with. It could also be the way in which they advertised the product that gave a misleading impression of the product.
Any known warnings or risks associated with the intended use of the product should be perfectly clear and evident to consumers.
When is a Company Strictly Liable for Defects in its Product?
So now that you know the types of product defects, how do you know who is responsible? In the same manner as the type of product defects, there are generally three parties that may be distinctly liable. These are the manufacturers, retailers, and owners of the defective product.
Manufacturers of products are more likely to be liable for products that feature a manufacturing or design defect. This means that the product was unsafe at its earliest stages, before even leaving the box. Lack of a proper warning label on the product could also be something that holds the manufacturers accountable.
Retailers of the defective property may also hold blame when it comes to defective products. If a seller knowingly sold you a damaged or harmful product without telling you, they would be liable.
Houston Product Defects Lawyers
Product manufacturers and related parties who may be responsible for defects are sure to hire a strong defense with skilled, resourceful legal teams. Their job is to limit the liability of the company and minimize any compensation you as the consumer may receive in a legal settlement or verdict. Meanwhile, at Reich & Binstock, we do just the opposite. Our skilled product liability attorneys work to prove the liability of the company and maximize the amount of compensation to which you deserve. In addition, our attorneys thwart the actions of defense lawyers and collaborate with experts in all fields related to your specific case. This may include economists, endocrinologists, accident reconstructionists, automotive industry experts, and medical experts. We will prepare your case to counter any and all challenges that might come along.
If you or a loved one received injuries due to a defective product, you need Houston’s best product liability lawyers on your side. Call us today at 713-622-7271 or visit the Reich & Binstock website to fill out our free consultation contact form. We handle all upfront costs of litigation and only receive payment if you obtain a recovery on your claim. We look forward to working with you!