Types of Defective Product Liability Claims

Defective or dangerous product related injuries account for thousands of injuries in the U.S. every year. The liability for defective or dangerous product related injuries could lie with any party within the product distribution chain, including the designer, manufacturer, installer, wholesaler, or retailer of the product. However, the sale of the product must be made in the regular course of the supplier’s business, meaning someone who resells a product on eBay or Craigslist cannot be held liable for injuries incurred. These types of injuries generally happen for one of three reasons: design defects, manufacturing defects, or marketing defects.


Design Defects – The design of the product is unsafe.

 A design defect occurs when there is a flaw or error in the product’s design that renders it dangerous. This type of defect is present before it reaches the production or manufacturing stage. In terms of a company’s liability, the liability occurs when there was a foreseeable risk posted by the product when the product was manufactured as intended and used for its intended purposes. Additionally, if the plaintiff can prove that the risk could have been reduced or avoided by the adoption of a reasonable alternative, the claim most likely can be narrowed down to a design defect. A reasonable alternative design is one that is feasible, economically feasible, and not in opposition to the product’s intended purpose.


Manufacturing Defects – The production, manufacturing, or assembly of the product is unsafe.

 A manufacturing defect occurs when the product departs from its intended design even though all possible care was exercised in the preparation and marketing of the product. Manufacturing defects are generally uncommon and when they occur, they only affect a limited number of units produced. These types of defects can be difficult to prove, especially in instances where the resulting damages from the accident are so severe, the true cause of the accident cannot be determined. However, if the circumstances of the accident indicate that a defect caused the accident and the plaintiff has evidence that removes all other possible causes, then the plaintiff can prove causation. This means of proving causation is referred to as the malfunction doctrine.


Marketing Defects – The marketing of the product is flawed or misleading.

 Marketing defects include inadequate instructions or warnings from foreseeable risks of harm. The manufacturer of a product is required to warn users of hidden dangers and must also instruct users how to use the product so that the users can avoid any potential dangers. Warnings must be clear, specific, and easily accessible or able to be found. Warnings are required when the product presents a danger, the manufacturer knows about the danger, the danger is present when the product is reasonably used in its intended manner, and the danger is not obvious to the reasonable user.


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 Have you or a loved one been injured due to a dangerous or defective product? After seeking medical attention, we urge you to contact one of our experienced and trusted attorneys today. We will listen to your case in detail and seek every avenue to justice. Contact us today at 1-800-THE-FIRM to schedule a free case evaluation.