When a manufacturing defect is present, a product can become dangerous, unsafe, or unfit for consumer use due to the way that it was constructed or assembled during the manufacturing process.
Thus, a manufacturing defect refers to a type of legal claim that is commonly cited as the basis of many products liability lawsuits.
In brief, a products liability lawsuit is one that is brought by a plaintiff against a defendant to hold them responsible for making either a dangerous or a defective product, which injured the plaintiff when they used it.
Manufacturing defects, however, are different from other products liability actions, such as a design defect. The two are often confused with each other, but a design defect is one that specifically relates to the way that a product was designed as opposed to manufactured.
In other words, when a manufacturing defect occurs, there is nothing wrong with the product design. Instead, an error that takes place while the product is being manufactured is what results in the product having dangerous effects that leads to consumer injuries.
Another frequently-cited defect in a products liability lawsuit that is sometimes joined with a manufacturing defect claim, is a warning label defect. This happens when a business has failed to affix sufficient warning labels to its product before selling it.
What are Some Types of Manufacturing Defects?
In general, a defective products lawsuit usually arises when a person was injured because of a manufacturing defect. As discussed above, this is another subcategory of a products liability lawsuit.
There are many different types of manufacturing defects that can serve as the basis of a plaintiff’s claim. This is because many of these claims are based in tort law, which covers a broad range of topics and may heavily depend on the facts of an individual case.
Some examples of the sorts of manufacturing defects that may cause harm to consumers might include:
- Using the wrong kinds of screws, bolts, or other fasteners on mechanical parts to a product;
- Attaching the parts of a product together incorrectly;
- Installing improper or outdated components of an item;
- Using the wrong color paints, especially when the colors were chosen for safety reasons;
- Trimming excess plastic or material from a manufacturing mold incorrectly;
- Installing electric circuitry backwards or in a way that will cause electrical shock; and
- Various other types of manufacturing errors, which again can arise on a case by case basis.
As is evident from the above list, the type of manufacturing defect that occurs will generally depend on the type of product in question. Therefore, different products can lead to different outcomes of a case.
Who Can Potentially Be Held Liable for a Manufacturing Defect?
In most cases, it is the manufacturer of the product who will be held liable for a manufacturing defect. It is important to note, however, that many companies hire a separate outside source to either complete production or at least some of the manufacturing steps involved in creating the product.
Thus, in some instances, it may be necessary to consult with a legal professional to determine whether multiple parties can actually be held liable for a single defective product injury.
In general, any party to a product’s chain of distribution can potentially be held liable for a manufacturing defect. Although it is usually the manufacturer themselves, others who may be held responsible might include:
- The manufacturer of specific component parts;
- A wholesaler of the product;
- The distributor of a product; and even
- The retailer who sold the product to a consumer.
Also, the plaintiff does not need to be the person who purchased the product. Any person who the manufacturer can reasonably foresee as a person who could be injured by the product may be able to recover for their injuries.
For example, if a parent buys a toy for their toddler and the toddler is then injured by that toy due to a manufacturing defect, then the toy manufacturer may be held liable for those toddler’s injuries.
Additionally, some states may limit or reduce a plaintiff’s award where it can be demonstrated that they were also partially responsible for causing their own injuries.
For example, if the victim failed to follow a product’s warning labels or proper instructions, their monetary damages award could be reduced. Again, this will depend on the specific laws of each jurisdiction.
Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer for Help with Issues Involving a Manufacturing Defect?
Manufacturing defects can often lead to very serious injuries, which in turn, may result in complex legal claims. Thus, if you or someone you know has been injured because of a manufacturing defect, then it may be in your best interest to contact a local consumer lawyer for legal advice.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to provide you with the proper guidance and preparation that is required for bringing a successful claim.
Your lawyer can also either negotiate on your behalf during a settlement arrangement, or alternatively, provide representation in court should it become necessary.