Defective/Dangerous Products

A defective product is a product—a car, an appliance, a toy, etc.—that causes injury because it does not function the way that it is intended. A product can be defective for two reasons: defective design or defective manufacturing.

What is a “defective design”?

A product’s design is defective when there is an inherent problem with how it is put together or works. A perfect example of a design defect is the Ford Pinto—the car was designed so that the gas tank would explode in rear-end collisions. Other examples of design defects include:

  • Defective medical products
  • Defective pharmaceuticals (drugs)
  • Automobile tires that blow out
  • Power tools and lawnmowers with no blade protection
  • SUVs that flip over because the center of gravity is too high
  • Kitchen appliances that don’t hold up against heat
  • Helmets made out of flimsy material (like plastic)

If you have been injured by a product in your home or someone else’s, a lawyer can help you figure out if the product has a defective design. If it does, you may be entitled to compensation.

What is a “manufacturing defect”?

A manufacturing defect occurs when a product is designed properly but then something goes wrong when it is being built or assembled, making the product dangerous. For example, an airplane that crashes or a television screen that explodes are generally the result of manufacturing defects. Other examples of manufacturing defects are:

  • Glass or bacteria in packaged food
  • Batteries that leak and cause caustic burns
  • Improperly assembled cars or boats
  • Above-ground swimming pools that collapse
  • Electrical devices that short-circuit or catch fire

If you have been injured by a product in your home or someone else’s, a lawyer can help you figure out if the product was manufactured improperly. If it was, you may be entitled to compensation.

What should I do if I have been injured by a defective product?

It is very important to save the packaging and what remains of the product, if you still have it. The product and packaging, as well as anything else you have relating to the product, will help your lawyer decide how to proceed with your case, and may become important evidence.

You should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible after your injury occurs. This will let you know if you have a good case, and will prevent the time limit, or statute of limitations, from running out.