What is a Defective Product?
Under the theory of products liability, a defective product is a product which is unreasonably dangerous. This defect ends up causing an injury to the person or property of the user or a bystander. Some of the more well-known products liability cases involve asbestos, automotive defects (which may include automotive recalls) and defects of household items. This blog has already featured posts about defective children’s bean bag chairs, 2014 being a record year for automotive recalls and a lawsuit seeking to hold Apple liable for exploding iPhones.
Under this theory, a product can be defective in one of the three ways: (1) it can have a defective design; (2) it can have a manufacturing defect; or (3) it can have a defective warning or instructions on the correct way to use the product.
A defective design is a product with an inherently dangerous design. This means that the entire line of products has this defect, because this defect exists even before production of the product. One of the most well-known defective design cases involved the Ford Pinto. The Pinto was designed in such a way that the fuel-tank was easily punctured if rear-ended, and many of these instances ended in deadly fires. The design was defective, because the placement and structural design of the fuel tank applied to all Ford Pinto’s produced during a certain time period. The defect led the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to direct Ford to recall the defective automobile.
A manufacturing defect is a defect in the production process, such as an error in the assembly-line. A basic example of this type of defect would be a bicycle that is missing its brake pads or a car that is missing its horn. One of the most famous manufacturing defects case was the case of the exploding coke bottle, which was ruled to be defective because of the production.
The final type of defect, is a defective warning or instruction. The law requires a suitable warning about the dangerous properties of the product, such as side effects from medicine or potential dangers of use of certain tools. Additionally, the product may be defective if there has been a failure to provide adequate instructions on how to safely use the product.
Products liability can apply to the entire vertical line of production, which means in certain cases, any or all parties may be held liable, including manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury related to a defective product, then contact an experienced San Diego personal injury attorney at Martinez & Schill LLP. Our personal injury attorneys are experienced in determining causation in a particular accident and may be able to offer insight into potentially culpable parties. We don’t get paid until we recover compensation on your behalf, so call today for a free consultation. San Diego 619-512-5995 or Riverside 951-200-4630.