What Are Common Examples of Product Liability?
It is scary to think that something we use every day, like our cars, can be defective. You are already putting your life in your hands by getting behind the wheel — you should not have to be worried about the car or its parts being defective. Sadly, defective cars and car parts are not the only products that threaten our safety. Children’s toys, pharmaceutical drugs, sports equipment, construction materials, medical devices and countless other consumer items are often at the center of products liability lawsuits.
The following are three of the most common reasons that product liability claims are filed.
Motor Vehicle Defects
Accidents usually happen before a recall is ordered. When a hazardous defect is discovered in a line of vehicles, the manufacturer — or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) — must notify vehicle owners of the defect and offer a remedy for it, such as free repair. However, if the defect is not related to safety, then it might not be subject to recall. Under federal law, manufacturers or the NHTSA do not have to report defects unless the defect poses a safety risk to drivers and/or passengers. Non-safety-related defects and undiscovered defects are often the basis of products liability lawsuits.
Defective auto parts can cause a variety of accidents and issues, including:
- Tire blowouts
- Roof crushes
- Fires: Burns
- Airbag defects
- Fuel leaks
- Seatbelt defects
- Braking hazards
Pharmaceutical Drug Defects
A large portion of the population, young and old, relies on prescription drugs to keep their quality of life intact. Frighteningly, sometimes these drugs which are meant to help can be manufactured improperly which can cause severe illness or even wrongful death. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for testing and approving drugs, it is not uncommon for defects to emerge in FDA-approved pharmaceuticals. These defects can cause severe health issues in the individual taking them and even to the unborn fetus of a pregnant woman taking defective drugs.
All parents want to protect their children. In things outside their control — such as buying food, clothes and toys — they put their trust in manufacturers to only use safe and approved ingredients and materials.
When something that is supposed to bring joy to a child ends up injuring them, it is a disheartening situation to be in. Depending on the circumstances, that child could be changed for life, treating toys and other objects meant to bring joy with wariness. If your child has been injured due to a defective toy, then you likely have cause to file a defective product claim against the toy manufacturer as well as other possible liable parties.
Exercise Equipment Defects
Home fitness has become an emerging trend in wake of 2020, and with that comes a lot of expensive and heavy equipment that poses more risk than one would think. Many at-home treadmills and fitness bikes have experienced recent recalls due to functionality and safety issues. Recently, one severe injury involved a three-year-old boy who was found trapped under a Peloton Tread+.
Many active people that experience an injury while training attribute it to the natural wear and tear of their own lifestyle. However, if you have experienced a recent injury due to defective equipment while exercising at home, you may have a case worth exploring. After all, had you been injured while working out at a membership-only gym, you would likely seek restitution from the gym for providing you with faulty equipment or machines.
What Are the Different Types of Product Defects?
Depending on the circumstances of the product defect, you may be able to hold several parties liable for an accident involving the product in question. Typically, you can file a defective product claim against the manufacturers of both the defective product and those responsible for manufacturing the parts of the product, a third-party assembler or installer of the product, wholesalers and/or the retail store that you bought the product from.
The three main types of product liability lawsuits are:
- Defective design— If the defect was the result of an inherently dangerous design, such as a choking hazard in an infant’s toy, the damage is likely to be widespread. For example, a defective car design would result in a national and/or worldwide recall.
- Inadequate warnings or instructions— Products that do not offer adequate warnings or instructions — such as a “hot coffee” label on coffee pots or medicines without proper side-effect warnings listed on the label — can cause a person to become wrongfully injured.
- Manufacturing defect— If an error was made during the fabrication of a single product, such as cough syrup adulterated with arsenic in it or a swing set with a broken chain, you could file a defective product lawsuit based on poor manufacturing controls.
Questions About Product Liability? Call Us Today
Shopping is one of America’s favorite past times. Whenever we buy products, we are rewarding ourselves and our families for our hard work. You should be able to buy toys, food and clothing without fearing for you or your loved one’s safety. When a hazardous product has threatened your family’s safety, it is time to take action. Any of the experienced product liability attorneys at James McKiernan Lawyers offer hard-hitting legal representation for injury victims in California and the surrounding areas in south central California.
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