• Jun
    07
    Posted in:
    Posted by: Jarve Kaplan Granato Starr

    Is a Manufacturer Responsible When a Defective Product Causes Injury?

    You’ve purchased and used a product, and as a result, you or someone you love has ended up with an injury. Maybe it was a result of dangerous toxins in the product leading to illness, or a piece wearing out too quickly leading to injury. Whatever the specifics of your case, product liability laws are designed to facilitate compensation for those who have suffered damages as a result of the negligence of manufacturers and others.

    The key to being able to hold a manufacturer responsible when a defective product causes an injury is whether it can be proved that either an act or omission on their part gave rise to the harm. That act or omission might be intentional, meaning that the company knew or should have known that harm would result from their action, or might have been negligent, which means that their act or omission was either intentionally risky or that they failed to reasonably perceive risk. However, under product liability laws, manufacturers can also be held legally responsible even if they are not at fault: this is known as strict liability.

    When determining whether a manufacturer can be held responsible for their product, there are four types of defects that a jury will consider. These include:

    • Design defects that make the product unreasonably dangerous or likely to cause injury. This is not the same as selling a product that is inherently dangerous. The fact that a product that is essentially designed to cause harm – such as a gun – eliminates the chance of liability for design defect. However, if something goes wrong with the gun and causes it to misfire, or fire inadvertently, that would be a design defect.
    • Manufacturing defects occur when a mistake or problem occurs during the manufacturing process, such as on the assembly line.
    • When a product is not unreasonably unsafe but requires certain precautions be taken, the manufacturer is expected to provide appropriate warnings and instructions for its use. When a manufacturer fails to provide that information, it can lead to them being liable for injuries that occur as a result of that failure.
    • Breach of warranty can be a cause for liability if the product does not live up to the safety that is implied in its use.

    When an injury is a result of a manufacturing defect, the issue of negligence is largely moot: the manufacturer is highly likely to be held responsible for any damages that result unless the defect is something that would have been impossible for them to have guarded against. However, once the problem or the possibility of the problem is identified, liability is automatically assumed.

    Determining whether a manufacturer can be held responsible for an injury caused by their product can be a complicated issue. For assistance, contact our experienced product liability attorneys today to set up a time for a free consultation.

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