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What Is a Latent Defect?

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What Is a Defective Product?

A defective product is a product that causes a person injury because of faulty labeling, design defect, or defective manufacturing. The defective product can range from an energy drink to real estate. Some defects are discovered at the time of a routine inspection. However, other defects are not discovered until the product is on the market or has been sold.

What Is a Latent Defect?

This type of defect is described as a hidden problem with a product not discovered upon routine inspection.

Is a Patent Defect Different from a Hidden Defect?

Yes. A patent defect is any type of defect visible upon a conducted inspection of the product.

Does the Buyer Bear the Liability for Latent Defects?

No. Generally, people buy new products with an understanding of any existing problems. This is because they are told by the seller or manufacturers of any known defects at the time of purchase. However, hidden defects discovered after the product is sold are not the responsibility of the buyer, but they are the responsibility of the seller and/or manufacturer.

Can I Sue for a Hidden Defect?

Yes. A manufacturer is usually responsible for a defect discovered after the product was placed on the market. A buyer suing because of a hidden defect typically proves the following to win:

  • The product had a dangerous, unreasonable defect
  • The defect caused any injury to the plaintiff while it was being used in the correct manner
  • The product has not been changed substantially from the way it was originally sold

When Can I Not Sue for a Hidden Defect?

In many cases, a seller may not be liable for hidden defects. For example, the seller may include protection from hidden defects in a written contract. A seller may only have a duty to disclose defects they are aware of and not any hidden defects discovered later.

Should I Talk to an Attorney about Latent Defects?

Yes. If you purchased a product with a latent defect, contact a products and services attorney. The attorney will advise you of your legal options and file a lawsuit on your behalf. 

Photo of page author Taelonnda Sewell

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 04-15-2018 11:24 PM PDT

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