Defective Product – When Products Don’t Function as Planned

January 21, 2013  |  Adriel B. Villarreal

Every year there are numerous cases here in Minnesota where people are injured because of a defective product. There are legal rules regarding product liability and a personal injury attorney can help you navigate them, making it easier to possibly recover damages.
Who Has the Liability?
The liability for a defective product can lie on many different people, depending on the source of the defect. It could be the product manufacturer who is held responsible, the manufacturer of the component parts, the wholesaler or even the store that sold the product.
The law is clear that manufacturers must take reasonable precautions to ensure that their product is not defective and should not injure a consumer. Furthermore, a product is required to meet the reasonable expectations of a consumer, and when it has an unanticipated danger or defect, it no longer meets a reasonable expectation.
While there are no federally mandated defective product liability laws, there are state laws and commercial statutes that these claims can be based on. These cases can be brought to court based on manufacturer negligence, liability and breach of warranty.
Examples of Defective Products
In product liability cases, the plaintiff must show that the product in question caused the injury due to defects. There are the three main types of defects that can show liability:

  • Design Defects
    This type of defect occurs from a flaw in the design of the product. Typically, the defect is present in the very beginning stages of the design. For example, a table that was designed to only have two legs may end up being defective because it can tip over easily and injure a person.
    Claims of a design defect usually have to prove that the manufacturer was negligent when designing this product, though liability can still apply if it shows that there is an alternate design that would’ve worked better and would have been safer. However, if the design of the product was dangerous to the point that it should not have been produced or sold, then you may not have to prove that there was a better design option available in order to prove liability.
  • Manufacturing Defects
    This type of defect happens when a product is not manufactured according to the design or the specifications. It is often easier to prove since all you need to do is show that the product wasn’t manufactured according to its plan. When a product manufacture deviates from the plan or design, the defect could be serious enough to cause injury. However, proving what exactly caused the defect is often the most difficult part of it.
  • Marketing Defects
    The third type of defect is derived from the way the product is marketed. This includes a product having an incorrect label or not having a warning label for a possible danger. This could also mean that the instructions were incorrect or left important information out. It could further be that a product was purposely marketed in a way that the product is not intended to be used.
  • Whether the marketing defect is due to a negligent or intentional reason, the companies involved in the marketing of the item can be held liable for any injuries that happen as a result.
    Taking Action
    As soon as you suffer a personal injury from a product, you should seek medical treatment. Ensure that you tell your doctor how you became injured and that you believe it is from a product defect. Your initial doctor’s report is important in establishing the injury. Be sure to keep the product, instructions and any warning labels on hand so that you have it as proof.
    If you have been injured by a defective product in Minnesota, it is important that you speak to a defective product lawyer about your options. At Barna, Guzy & Steffen, our experienced defective product lawyers will meet with you for a free initial consultation and let you know whether you have a case or not.
    If you do, a personal injury lawyer will take on your case and work with the other party or parties to come to a settlement in the matter. Many times these cases end in settlement but sometimes they do progress into lawsuits. Please call today to speak with a Product Liability Attorney who can help you decide what to do next.