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When to File a Defective Product Lawsuit

Jan 26, 2022

As a consumer, manufacturers and all the parties involved in making the product available to you owe you an obligation to ensure their products are not defective. They also must provide detailed instructions on how to use their product safely.


So, if you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, you may be able to bring a defective product lawsuit against those responsible for your injury.

What Is Considered a Defective Product

A defective product is a product that causes harm to a person using it for its intended purpose and following the product guidelines. Product defect is common in toys, automobiles, drugs, herbicides, food items, and medical devices.

For a product to qualify as defective, it must have caused injury or damage. A product that is merely not as efficient as it was advertised is not defective.

Types of Product Defects

A product can be defective in three ways:

Defective Design

Defective design is when the design of a product is flawed, making it inherently dangerous. A product with a defective design is defective even before it's manufactured. A defective design will affect every product manufactured with that design.

If you suffered an injury because a defective design made the product harmful, you may be able to bring a defective product lawsuit against the manufacturers. For instance, a lawnmower that explodes if it gets heated has a defective design.

Marketing Defects or Defective Marketing

A marketing defect occurs because of a failure to provide instructions on how to use a product, or a failure to warn about the risks. A product may not have any design or manufacturing defects, but if the manufacturer fails to disclose any underlying danger it poses, the product is defective.

The law expects product manufacturers to document hazards associated with using their products and to provide a clear warning of any risk or side effects. A product can cause injury because there was insufficient instruction on how to use it or inadequate warning on how not to use it. A manufacturer that fails to provide consumers with guidelines on how to use their product may be liable in a product liability lawsuit.

Defective marketing is common with drugs, medical devices, and toys. This is one reason most drugs provide detailed information on how to use them and a list of potential side effects. 

Manufacturing Defects

This type of defect happens during the manufacturing process. It occurs when an error in the manufacturing or assembling process makes a product dangerous to use. 

A manufacturing error happens because of a deviation from the product design. If the manufacturing and assembling of the product followed the design to the tee, the product would not have been defective.

A manufacturing defect may occur because the manufacturer failed to include an important component of the product. An example might be the failure to install an automobile brake pad during vehicle assembly. The use of contaminated ingredients or materials is also a manufacturing defect, one which is common in defective food items.

What Constitutes a Product Liability Lawsuit

You can file a product liability lawsuit on any of the following grounds:

Injury Was Caused by the Product

If you suffered injury because of a defective product, you can file a product liability lawsuit. To succeed, you must prove:

  • That the product was defective or didn’t provide warning or instruction on how to use it 
  • That the defect in the product injured you. You must show that the defective product directly caused the injury you sustained. 
  • That you used the product correctly and for its intended purpose.

Damage Was Caused by the Product

You can recover compensation for any economic loss you suffered because of the defective product. Economic damages because of a defective product are easier to calculate. They include:

  • Medical expenses, both past and future
  • Lost income and lost future income
  • House renovation to accommodate living with any disability caused by the faulty product

Although it is not common, sometimes a faulty product may not cause you physical harm but does result in property damage. For example, if an electrical appliance explodes when you are steps away from it, and burns a part of your house without causing you any bodily injury, you may be able to be recompensed for that damage.

When Are You Not Able to File a Defective Product Lawsuit

There are times you might sustain injuries from using a product, but you cannot file a defective product lawsuit. Some of those situations are:

Warning Labels Were Used Properly

Lots of consumer and pharmaceutical products contain clear warning labels concerning the risk of using the product. If a manufacturer has provided the warnings as required by law and a consumer ignores them, the manufacturer won’t be held liable for those injuries.

You need to read the warnings on product labels to know what you must avoid. For example, if a product has a clear warning stating it is highly flammable and should be kept away from fire, if you take it near fire and it explodes and injures you, you won’t be able to bring a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer.

You Failed to Follow Product Instructions

Manufacturers provide product instructions to guide you on using the product safely. Instructions may cover the assembly, installation, storage, maintenance, or use of a product. 

If you failed to follow the instructions and you were injured as a result, you cannot bring a product liability claim against the manufacturer.

Does Your Case Constitute a Lawsuit

Defective product lawsuits include all cases where injury results from a product’s defective design, manufacture, or failure of the manufacturer to provide warning on the risks associated with or instruction on product use.

If you or a family member suffered injury or even wrongful death because of a defective product, you may be able to bring a defective product lawsuit against those responsible. 

The experienced product liability lawyers at The Spence Law Firm have handled numerous defective product lawsuits. We will fight for you to help you get the fair compensation you deserve. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

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If you are struggling with a serious injury, or are fighting against seemingly impossible odds against big corporations, insurance companies or the government, call us to speak with our team of trial lawyers who will fight for you. We take no fee unless we earn it by winning your case.