Three Main Types of Product Liability

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Product liability has the second highest median damage awards of all types of personal injury lawsuits, at $300,000. It is second only to medical malpractice, which usually amounts to twice that, but product liability is actually pretty common and can happen more often than you think. Each year, thousands of people are injured while they use a product and make personal injury claims because of it. Here are the three ways product liability happens.

1. Defects in Manufacture
One of the ways the product liability happens is through defects in the manufacturing process. This means that the design of the product is not dangerous at all, but during production something happens that makes it so. Usually, this means that only a small batch or certain amount — but not all — of a product is dangerous. An example of this is if a small batch of premade cookie dough is contaminated with salmonella. The recipe is fine, and the issue began in production.

2. Defects in Design
Another type of product liability occurs in the design. This means that the original design of the product has a flaw in it that makes it dangerous. All of the products manufactured with the design will be flawed and dangerous. An example of this is an oddly shaped car that tips over when it navigates turns, even at a safe speed.

3. Failure to Warn
The last type of product liability is failure to warn, which is exactly what it sounds like. The design and the manufacture of the product would be just fine, but the user would need special warning or instruction to use it safely. An example of this is the McDonald’s hot coffee case, which the injured woman won. The temperature of the coffee was hot enough to leave her with third degree burns, and is why many coffee cups at restaurants now read “Caution: Hot Coffee.”

Have you ever been injured while using a product? Feel free to tell us about it in the comments section. Get more info here.

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