Even if a product is designed well, it can still pose a hazard to consumers. Defects in manufacturing happen when the product is inadequately made, departing from the original design. For instance, a bottle of prescription medications could become contaminated while at a processing location or a metal hip replacement could break prematurely because of substandard practices used in manufacturing. When these kinds of defects in manufacturing can result in harm to the consumer, the manufacturer may be held liable for the sustained injuries.
Basics of Product Defects
The law in the United States is meant to protect consumers who are harmed by defective products. This arena of the law is referred to as product liability law, and injured parties may be eligible to file a product liability suit in order to protect their legal rights and regain lost compensation caused by their injuries. In successful claims, plaintiffs may be able to regain financial compensation in the form of medical expenses, continued medical treatment, lost income from time missed at work, and other damages associated with the incident. In order to make sure that products sold in the United States, and across the world, are safe for general consumers, product liability lawsuits play a crucial role.
What is a Defect in Manufacturing?
In most cases, any defects in the manufacturing process were not intended by the manufacturer. The third restatement of torts is a crucial treatise concerning the law of product liability. It establishes that a defect in manufacturing as taking place when “the product departs from its intended design even though all possible care was exercised in the preparation and marketing of the product.”
Essentially, this means that the care taken by the manufacturer when designing a given product, selecting materials, making the assembly line, and establishing quality assurance guidelines does not matter. The manufacturer has to cover the cost of any injuries that are the result of an ill-manufactured product that left the factory and resulted in harm to a consumer when being used for its intended purpose. This is known as the legal theory referred to as strict liability.
In product liability law, manufacturing defects are not particularly common. A manufacturing defect usually affects a limited number of those that are produced, while a defect in a design affects every single product manufactured and a warning of these defects impacts every product that is sold. Controls and oversight of the manufacturing process at production facilities usually limit the number of defects in a given product, and any product that is defective will usually be replaced. When a product becomes a hazard due to manufacturing defects, they are often the ones that were not caught in the oversight process and made it into the wider market.
Difficulties in Proving Manufacturing Defects
It can be hard to establish evidence of a manufacturing defect. In order to better understand this, let’s look at an example. Let’s say that the braking system of a car does function properly, resulting in the plaintiff being involved in an accident. Despite the fact that the manufacturer was not negligent when designing the brakes and that the manufacturer did not plan on the brakes malfunctioning, product liability law could result in the manufacturer being responsible under the strict liability doctrine.
There could be other factors that contributed to the injuries of the plaintiff that would make proving his or her case more complex. For instance, a plaintiff could have difficulty proving that product liability was the direct cause of his or her sustained injuries. The driver’s poor reaction to their environment could have been the true reason for the crash, regardless of if the brake system was defective. This could potentially reduce or even eliminate the plaintiff’s eligibility to regain lost compensation.
Cases involving manufacturing defects should ultimately produce the defective product in question, but this can be hard to do after being injured in an accident. For instance, a car could be damaged severely after a crash, leaving it impossible to prove what caused the accident to take place. These and similar situations could create more difficulties for plaintiffs attempting to prove their claim.
There are some key legal doctrines that could benefit patients involved in cases with manufacturing defects. For instance, in certain cases, a plaintiff can benefit from the “malfunction doctrine” to provide evidence of causation. If the circumstances of an accident show that the accident was the result of a defect, under this doctrine, then the plaintiff can show causation even in the event that the product was destroyed or damaged. That is if adequate evidence is provided that removes other potential causes.
Let’s discuss the malfunction doctrine using the example of the car brakes system provided above. The victim could possibly show that the reality that he or she was injured in the crash shows that was a defect in the brake system. Essentially, if the brake system had been designed adequately, and there were no other factors that could have contributed to the crash, then it can be shown that there was a manufacturing defect.
Salt Lake City Area Defective Product Injuries
When you buy a product, there is an assumption that it will be reasonably safe to use for its intended purpose. Sadly, this is not always the case.
Items that should be perfectly safe, such as children’s toys, often experience recalls due to the harm they pose to consumers.
The accidents are more common than you think, and victims of product malfunctions or defects could potentially be eligible to regain lost compensation for their injuries, such as medical costs, lost wages from time off work, and future medical treatment. In some case, injured parties can contact an experienced Salt Lake City product liability lawyer in order to protect their legal rights after an accident.
Siegfried & Jensen understands that recovering after an accident is a difficult time. That is why we want to help you with the legal aspects of your case while you focus on what is important: your recovery after an unforeseen accident. Contact our law offices today at 801-845-9000 if you or a loved one have been injured by a defective product.