Product liability is an area of the law that is a mystery to many. There are several ways a person can be injured due to product liability or defective products. We will discuss the many ways product liability occurs.
Types of Product Liability
When a product is put on the shelves, the consumer buys it with the notion that product is safe for use. Under product liability law, if there is an error in manufacturing a product, and a consumer is injured by it, the manufacturer could be held liable for any injuries caused by that product. For example: you purchase an ATV for your child, and the brakes are missing necessary brake pads which causes an accident. You would likely be able to recover for damages under product liability law against the manufacturer.
This is a different aspect of product liability law. Defective design covers any flaws that a product has which are as a result of a poor design. Defective design does not happen at the site of the manufacture, but rather in planning the actual details of how a product will be produced. For example: the GM ignition switch flaw would be a defective design. The part used to complete production of the ignition switch was faulty due to length and strength of a spring within the ignition. This is a faulty design aspect which has caused hundreds of deaths and injuries.
Failure to Warn
Failure to warn is another way that a person could have a product liability claim. This covers any dangers a person would reasonably be exposed to by a product that the manufacturer has not warned the consumer about. The infamous Stella Liebeck/McDonald’s case involves failure to warn. The restaurant mogul did not warn the consumers that the coffee was being served at scalding temperatures, which, in turn, caused Mrs. Liebeck and several other consumers to suffer 2nd and 3rd degree burns as a result of their coffee. This product liability case is arguably the most well known and also a turning point for warning labels in America.