When a product is released for sale to the public, every party along the chain of production is responsible for ensuring the product is safe for use to those who purchase it. Product manufacturers, quality inspectors, distributors, salespeople, and retailers carry a responsibility to ensure the products they sell to consumers are not dangerous, the intended uses of that product are clearly defined, and that they thoroughly warn consumers of any potential hazards the product may carry.
Any failings along the process from manufacture to purchase may injure or harm a customer, and leave the responsible parties liable for a product liability claim. Defective product claims may involve one or more of the entities responsible for releasing the product to the consumer, and it’s vital for victims to be aware of their rights.
How to Define Defective Products
A product may be defective for a number of reasons, and everyone along the production chain needs to ensure that their products are safe, perform as advertised, and thoroughly warn customers of any potential hazards the product may pose. Manufacturers are also required to describe clearly the intended purpose of the product, and how it should be properly used. Distributors and salespeople must accurately represent the product’s capabilities and adequately warn of any potential risks. The different types of defective products are defined below:
- Defects in the manufacturing process – There was some error in the product’s fabrication or assembly. This may include faulty materials, improper assembly, missing or deteriorated parts, or a machine error. Defective manufacturing processes typically affect only a few products, and most of the others are manufactured properly and pose no risk to consumers.
- Defective design – There is a flaw in the design of the product that creates a hazard. A historical example of this would be the Ford Pinto’s tendency to burst into flames if struck from the rear, because the gas tank was situated in the rear of the vehicle without proper impact shielding. The designers of commercial products need to ensure that their designs are safe and account for any obvious risks that accompany regular, safe use of the product.
- Failure to warn – The manufacturer did not clearly warn consumers of the product’s potential risks or did not provide adequate instructions for its intended use. An example of this is drug companies clearly displaying recommended dosage amounts and frequency on their product packaging, and indicating any potential side effects or possible interference with other drugs or medical conditions.
If you’ve been injured by a product and believe that any of these factors contributed to your injury, you may be able to pursue a defective product liability claim against the responsible parties. Those parties may include the product’s designers or those who approved a defective design for production, the parties who manufactured the product, a distributor that may have applied additional labels or packaging, and the party making the final sale to the customer responsible for accurately representing the product and its intended uses.
Suing for Damages in Bolivar, MO
In any defective product situation, you must be able to prove that the defective product caused your injuries, and that it was used properly for its intended purpose. If you have a defective product injury case in the Springfield, Mo., area, the legal experts at Douglas, Haun & Heidemann can help.
We have more than 100 years of experience representing clients in a wide variety of cases in the Springfield area, and we believe that manufacturers need to produce safe and effective products, and thoroughly warn customers of any potential hazards. Reach out to the team of experts at Douglas, Haun & Heidemann if you have questions about defective product claims or want to start reviewing a case.