• Mar
    Posted in:
    Posted by: Jarve Kaplan Granato Starr

    What Exactly is a Design Defect?

    Product Liability

    When you hear about lawsuits being filed by people who have been hurt by a product, there are generally a few different charges filed against the manufacturer. There are frequently problems that are referred to as a manufacturing defect: this describes problems in the process of actually fabricating the product, and indicate that had the manufacturer been more careful in its production then no injury would have occurred. Examples of this might be a piece of equipment whose bolts are not thoroughly tightened or parts not well soldered together, causing it to fall apart and cause injury. The other type of fault that is commonly cited is a design defect. When a product has a design defect it means that it is inherently dangerous, no matter how well it is put together. The essential theory is that the product’s designer did not give enough thought to the way that the product would be used, and that had they shown foresight then they either would have chosen not to produce the product or would have chosen an alternative design.

    When filing a product liability lawsuit against a manufacturer, it is essential that you work with an attorney who has extensive experience in pursuing these lawsuits At Jarve, Kaplan, Granato & Starr, LLC, we review the damage that a product has done in order to determine whether the injury could have been avoided. Key questions include whether an alternative exists and would have been physically and economically feasible to produce, while still having the product able to accomplish its original goal. To that point, the recent class action lawsuits filed against General Motors over its use of a faulty ignition switch closely examined the auto manufacturer’s decision to use the switch in their production even though they knew there was a problem. There is evidence that GM was aware of the problem: company engineers called the problem of a spring with insufficient force to the company’s attention in 2005. The problem with the switch could have been avoided had they used an alternative ignition switch at a cost of just 57 cents each, but the company chose to ignore the problem for over ten years, indicating that the alternative of spending the additional 57 cents on the part did not represent “an acceptable business case,” as it did not also represent the costs of labor for installing the new part. That cost would been approximately $100 million. There have been 13 deaths and multiple injuries attributed to that decision, and the ensuing lawsuits and replacement parts will cost the company substantially more than that.

    If you or someone you love has been injured by a product that was defectively designed, you may be eligible to file a product liability lawsuit seeking compensation for the damages that you suffered. This can include medical expenses, lost wages, and more. For more information and to set up a convenient free consultation, contact us today.

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