When you purchase a product, you expect that it will work as intended and as advertised. We all know from personal experience that this is not always the case. In most situations, a defective product is a mere annoyance. However, in some cases, it can result in injury and even death.
When your defective product causes a personal injury or monetary damages (like burning down your house), then you may have legal recourse. Bringing a defective product case may allow you to recoup expenses like medical bills, lost work, and property damage. You may also be able to collect a sum for your personal injuries or injuries to your loved ones.
What is a Defective Product?
When most people hear the term “defective product,” they likely think of a manufacturing problem. That is, there is something wrong with this particular product. It does not function or work as intended or it is missing parts or pieces. This type of defect is commonly referred to as defective manufacture or a manufacturing defect. While this definition is completely correct, there are other definitions of a defective product from a legal standpoint.
You may also have a defective product action when the product has a defective design. In these cases, all of the products are designed exactly the same, and there is no error from a manufacturing point of view. Instead, all of the products were designed in such a way that the product in inherently unsafe. A common example might include a lawn mower that failed to have a protective guard to keep users away from the blade.
Sometimes a product may also be considered defective because the instructions did not explain the safe way to use the product. The instructions or warnings may not have warned you against a particular risk of the product. Although these products are not considered defective in the common sense of the word, they may still be defective from a legal standpoint. The manufacturer or designer failed to tell you about a specific risk or failed to explain how to safely use the product. These cases are commonly referred to as “failure to warn” cases.
Responsible Parties in a Defective Product Case
If you assert a defective product claim, your case might involve an array of characters. Each situation is different, and who you involve may depend on your specific injury or how you were injured. Parties that might be included in a defective product case include:
- Product designer
- Product manufacturer (if the designer and manufacturer are not the same entity or individual)
- Manufacturer of component parts (pieces of the whole)
- Retail store or wholesaler
- Party that assembles or installs the product
Anyone that was involved in the process of getting the product from the manufacturer to you could be involved in a products liability case.
Theories of Liability in Defective Product Cases
Most product liability cases are based on a concept called “strict liability.” This legal concept essentially means that you are not required to prove that any of the entities or individuals listed above were careless in the creation of the product. Instead, the simple fact that you were injured by a product is often enough for a defective product case.
This victim-favorable concept was created, in part, because it would be very difficult to prove if a manufacturer was careless when it developed or created a product. It was also developed in response to the reality that consumers often cannot spot defects in products before they use them.
There are other theories of liability in defective product cases as well, but most cases in Tennessee and Kentucky are based on strict liability.
Some cases may involve a breach of warranty claim. In this type of claim, you assert that the defective product violated a particular promise that the manufacturer made to you by advertising the product or even just selling the product.
These warranties may be expressed or implied. An express warranty is specifically stated in the literature for the product or by the company that created the product. An implied warranty is an assumption by the consumer that the product they are purchasing is going to work as it is meant to work. For example, if you purchase a lawn mower, you will expect that it will be able to cut grass. If it cannot perform this function, then you may have an implied warranty claim.
Most breach of warranty claims can be addressed by working with the seller to correct a problem or fix a part. However, in some situations, the breach causes you damage. In these situations, you may have a legal remedy.
Getting Legal Help
If any product harms you, you should consider speaking with a defective products lawyer to see if you have any legal options. Many people fail to realize that they have a claim in these situations, which can be a costly mistake. Find out more by calling 800-800-4600.
Cases likely to be referred.