People do not always cause injuries. Product liability is an area of the law centered on consumers who have been injured by using products. In Texas, there are three different ways a product can be labeled as defective:
- There was a design defect that caused an injury
- It didn’t come with appropriate warnings or instructions on how to use it safely
- It wasn’t manufactured correctly
What Is a Design Defect?
Design defects can be a strange concept to understand. A product can be produced precisely how it was designed and still be dangerous to consumers. To give you a better understanding of a design defect, think of a jigsaw. It’s a handheld electronic device that has a blade that moves up and down. The blade is sandwiched between a base plate (sometimes referred to as a shoe) that keeps your hand away from the blade. Although this would likely never happen, what if a company designed a new jigsaw without the base plate because it added more versatility to the tool? This could be a design defect. The company intended the power tool to be made without the base plate, which made the product unsafe.
The reason this could cause confusion is that products such as jig saws are inherently dangerous. To win a product liability case because of defective design, it isn’t enough for the product to be dangerous. You have to demonstrate that the company should have used a safer design, that it was financially reasonable for the company to use a safer design, and that the safer design wouldn’t have affected the product’s purpose.
Understanding Manufacturing Defects & Warnings
This is separate from design defects. Manufacturing defects are when you buy a product that deviates from its intended design. Using the previous example of a jigsaw, it has an on/off button. If you were injured by one because the on/off switch wouldn’t shut down the tool, it would be a manufacturing defect.
Warnings and instructions exist to mitigate the risks associated with using a product. They need to highlight the dangers that a reasonable person wouldn’t be aware of. For instance, because a jig saw is an electrical tool, people shouldn’t operate them around water. Whereas that may be obvious to some, many people may be unaware that these can still shock people if there is moisture in the air. These are unforeseen risks that warning labels and instructions should identify.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Who Understands Product Liability
At Beaty Legal, PLLC, we never forget that we are here to serve you. Our unparalleled experience with product liability and litigation can help you recover damages after you have needlessly injured. Let us obtain the compensation you need so you can return to focusing on your life and your family. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.