The Three Types of Product Liability Lawsuits

There isn’t one business that exists today that does not have product liability insurance. Better to be safe than sorry if your product turns out to have problems and injures someone.

Generally speaking there are three types of product liability lawsuits that get filed in courtrooms. Those are information defects, design defects and manufacturing defects. Any one of these by themselves or in combination with another defect may form the basis of a product liability lawsuit.

Manufacturing defects are those that happen when a product, initially thought (and intended) to be safe, but something happened to it during the manufacturing process and it ended up being flawed and causing injuries to people who bought the product, e.g. one of the sprockets for a new mountain bike is missing.
Design defects are a bit different in origin. This happens when a product is made the right way by the company, but it turns out it is unsafe. It may not be a case of the manufacturer realizing the goods are dangerous because of the way they were designed. Nonetheless, there would be liability on the part of the manufacturer and designer, e.g. a stuffed bear with buttons for eyes that are not secured properly to the toy and can be swallowed by young children.

An information defect refers to a situation where a product is unavoidably hazardous in some form or other, but there is nothing to indicate this on or in the product’s package, e.g. a caulking compound for the bathtub that should not be used in enclosed spaces because it causes severe respiratory problems.
Each product liability case is unique and thus treated on a case by case basis. While a great many consumers would just pitch the defective product out in the garbage, there are more informed customers that are beginning to realize that they have rights when it comes to being harmed by a product they bought in good faith.

Keep in mind that every business that handles, supplies, refurbishes or resells a product must have some kind of liability insurance. It doesn’t matter if you sell on eBay or happen to be one of the most well-known retailing names in the US. The facts are that every business runs the risk of being sued if a product they handle ends up injuring or killing an innocent customer. If you don’t believe that, just remember the famous case of the hot coffee that gave a McDonald’s customer third degree burns when it was spilled on her thighs. She won her product liability lawsuit.

Bradley J. Hofland is with Las Vegas Divorce law firm, Hofland, Beasley & Galliher. The law firm focuses on Las Vegas family law, custody, and Las Vegas personal injury. To learn more about
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