In product liability lawsuits, there are three general categories of claims typically brought against manufacturers. While a consumer may have a legitimate reason to litigate, it can be difficult for him to prove he was directly or indirectly harmed by a product.
“Foreseeable and Avoidable”
We’ve written before on the topic of “misuse” when it comes to product liability matters. In that blog post, we addressed how a successful defense of misuse requires the manufacturer to prove that the user operated the product in a way that was not foreseeable. It is also important to consider “avoidable hazards,” as some products such as knives, saws, drills, and ladders are inherently dangerous. With these types of products it is typically much harder to prove that the accident was caused by an unavoidable hazard.
The concepts of “foreseeable” and “avoidable” can serve as a basis for defending against the following types of product defect cases:
- Design defects: A design defect is inherent in the product. An example of this would be a drill designed with incorrect wattage specifications, and it catches fire. With proper review, this would have been a foreseeable oversight. Most manufacturers have many safeguards and quality control steps in place to prevent this type of accident from occurring.
- Manufacturing defects: Manufacturing defects happen at some point during the production process and go undetected during quality checks. By their very nature, this type of defect falls into the “avoidable and foreseeable” category. However, it can be extremely difficult to pinpoint not just the defect but when it took place.
- Failure to warn: A failure to warn arises when an unavoidably dangerous product, such as a drill, does not contain adequate warnings. We spoke at length on this in the original blog post.
Vigorous, Thorough Defense
With any product liability case, the circumstances of an accident matter nearly as much as the nature and quality of the product itself. Your chances of achieving a favorable outcome increase exponentially when you retain legal counsel with experience in defending against nearly every possible type of product liability claim.