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What Consumers Should Know about Product Liability Claims


People are injured by products every day. Some of these items are things that carry some risk of using them, others seem completely benign until their defective or dangerous qualities become apparent.

A product may be defective or dangerous because of any of these three factors:

  • How it was designed
  • How it was made
  • How much warning about it was provided

Keep reading as we’ll discuss each of these factors below.

Manufacturing Defects

If a product is alleged to have a manufacturing defect, this means that it was produced without conforming to the seller’s design specifications or performance requirements.

This can happen in a number of ways during the manufacturing process, which may include the following:

  • Improper assembly
  • Defecting materials
  • Missing parts

When a manufacturer or seller discovers that defective products have reached consumers, a recall may be issued. Voluntary recalls are often considered good-faith gestures to prevent potentially hazardous products from causing harm. That said, they neither release a company from potential liability nor ensure that the company will be held liable in a personal injury lawsuit.

Design Defects

Some items are defective or dangerous because of their design. This means that even if they are manufactured exactly as specified, they pose a risk to the end-user. A classic example of a design defect is a three-legged chair or a car with square wheels. As an actual example, though, a design defect may be a piece of industrial or farm equipment that could crush or amputate limbs during normal use.

When it comes to designing products, companies have an obligation to consider consumers’ expectations of what an unreasonably dangerous product would be. Something that could cause injury by holding one’s hand in a slightly different spot during use might be an unreasonably dangerous product.

Warning Defects

If you’ve ever wondered why products seem to have a lot of warning stickers, tags, and language in their instruction booklets, it’s because these companies are trying to protect their liability. If a product doesn’t sufficiently warn the consumer of potential hazards, then the seller can be held liable in a product liability lawsuit.

Warnings should warn against hazards that could occur during both proper and improper use of the product. If a hazard is considered to be “open and obvious,” then the seller may be protected against liability if they did not provide a warning to this effect.

Our attorneys at Bertram & Graf, L.L.C. have decades of experience fighting for our clients with product liability claims. Through dedicated legal representation like ours, it’s possible to get the recovery you deserve from the parties responsible.

For more information or to schedule a free initial consultation, please contact us online or call (888) 398-2277 today.