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What Makes Products Defective?

Manufacturers, suppliers and retailers are legally obligated to ensure that their products are reasonably safe for consumers. Yet thousands of dangerous products still end up on store shelves.

In 2012 alone, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission completed over 400 voluntary product recalls. Examples include toys that posed choking hazards for small children, construction equipment that put workers at risk for lacerations and bicycle helmets that failed to protect wearers from injury.

Defective products have inherent flaws that cause harm to consumers of the product, even when used as intended. Defects can take several forms, including:

  • Manufacturing defects — The product is faulty due to a problem during the manufacturing process. Examples include the failure of a factory worker to securely attach a part or a machine malfunction that contaminates a batch of medicine.
  • Design defects — The product is inherently dangerous or defective because of the way it is designed. Therefore, no matter how carefully the product is made, it will still pose a danger to consumers. Examples include a baby bath seat that is prone to tipping over, or a car roof that cannot withstand the impact of a crash.
  • Marketing defects — The product is not labeled or marketed properly to consumers. Examples include inadequate directions regarding proper use, deceptive product labeling or insufficient warnings about risks associated with using the product.

Consumers who are injured by a defective product are entitled to pursue a claim against all of the companies involved in the design, manufacture, distribution and sale of the product. In many cases, product liability is a strict liability offense. This means that courts may impose liability for defective products that are unreasonably dangerous to the intended user regardless of whether all possible care was used in the manufacture, distribution or sale of the product.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. The personal injury lawyers of the Law Offices of John E. Hill, a Professional Corporation can help explain your legal options when you have been injured while using a product that has caused you injury.

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