3 types of product defects possible in your Georgia case
Whenever you buy a product, you expect it to do what it’s intended to do. Companies have a responsibility to ensure that their products are safe for use. Unfortunately, defective products end up in the hands of consumers. Using faulty products can cause severe injuries and sometimes even death.
According to a report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), defective products cause 30 million injuries and 22,000 deaths every year. Georgia product liability laws are in place to protect consumers when such cases happen. These lawsuits can be based on strict liability or negligence.
If you’ve been injured because of a defective product, reach out to our Macon product liability attorneys. We can help fight for your rights.
Let’s look at the 3 different types of defective products.
1. Design defects
Every product goes through a design process before its manufacture. The final product should function according to the design objectives. As a result, design defect claims don’t fault the manufacturing process. The product may have been made according to the design specifications, but the design was flawed. Such a flawed system endangers the consumers, making it unreasonably dangerous.
For a product to be considered unreasonably dangerous, the risks of the design must outweigh the benefits. Courts usually look at safer design options that the company could have used to achieve the same results. For instance, a blender may have been designed so that it doesn’t start properly. However, as the user goes to check, it starts working.
Since it has moving parts, the consumer could potentially lose a finger. Such a defect could be due to a problem with the circuit. In such a case, the injury could have been preventable if the blender starts without fail. The court looks at the cost of designing a safer blender versus the cost of damage or injuries.
2. Manufacturing defects
Manufacturing defects errors occur during the assembly process. The design may be perfect, but mistakes during fabrication can make a product dangerous to consumers. Every manufacturing company has a quality control department. They are supposed to uncover any defects after manufacturing. The main types of manufacturing defects are structural weaknesses, missing parts or contamination during packaging.
Such defects rarely affect an entire line of products because companies have strict quality control oversight guidelines. However, once in a while, a bad batch slips through the cracks. When such a product causes an injury to a consumer using it for its intended purpose, it is culpable. It doesn’t matter if all possible care was taken to prevent manufacturing defects.
The legal system holds the manufacturer responsible for the injury or property damage caused by their product. A manufacturing defect example is when you fall over and injure yourself because the chair has one shorter leg than the others. However, it may not be so easy to prove if the chair suffers further damage during the fall.
3. Marketing defects (failure to warn)
Using certain products like a knife comes with risks. However, if the dangers are not obvious, and the average consumer may not anticipate them, the company must warn the public. This is why most electronics and other equipment have caution stickers. It is also the reason why pharmaceuticals print a list of side effects on the packaging. For a claim to be valid, the injury must have resulted from failure to warn consumers adequately.
For instance, cough syrups that can cause drowsiness must be labeled to inform the consumer. If these side effects are not indicated, and you use the syrup and end up hurting yourself, you have grounds for a product liability claim. If you knew, you probably wouldn’t have taken it while driving or operating machinery.
Other defective product examples under this category include corrosive cleaning agents without proper labeling and harmful pesticides sold without fitting instructions.
Comparison of the 3 product defects
Product defects occur due to mistakes at various stages of production. The significant difference between design and manufacturing product defects is the severity of the damage. A design defect often means the entire line of products is defective.
If the company is found guilty, the court can order a recall of products made from the design. On the other hand, manufacturing defects only affects a few batches, the ones not spotted during quality control. Likewise, warning defects only affect products sold without proper labeling.
While there are different types, all product liability claims require the same proof under Georgia laws § 51-1-11. These include:
- Evidence that the product was defective at the time of the injury or damage.
- The defect must lead to an injury.
- The consumer didn’t alter the product before use.
- The injury occurred while the consumer was using it for its intended purpose.
If your case fulfills these guidelines, you will likely get compensated for the injuries or property damage. However, comparative negligence can reduce your compensation or prevent you from recovering damages.
Get help from an experienced Macon defective product lawyer
We hope that understanding a little more about the different types of product defect claims better informs you about whether or not your owed compensation. However, the information only helps you to know if you can initiate a lawsuit. Product defect claims are very complicated and require an experienced product liability attorney to get you the help you need.
It is also crucial to remember you have a limited window to file your case. Under Georgia laws, the statute of limitations for product liability cases is 2 years for personal injury and 4 years for property damage. The clocks start ticking the moment you discover the injury or damage.