What Are The Types of Product Liability Cases?

Defective products are more than just an annoyance. Unfortunately, faulty products can make it into our households and workplaces, leading to significant injuries and illnesses.

According to Washington State Legislation, products can become defective in a variety of ways, but, we can generally boil down the issues to three types of defects: design flaws, manufacturing errors, and advertising mistakes.

Design Flaws – Defective From the Outset

Products that end up in our homes or workplaces could have been defective from the initial design. Yes, just about every product on our shelves goes through extensive testing by the manufacturers before entering mass production and finding its way to the stores and our personal spaces.

However, when product manufacturers fail to notice a design flaw during testing or if they purposely ignore warning signs that a product could be defective, poorly designed products get released to the public and could cause major injuries or fatalities.

Example of a design flaw

A children’s car seat is designed with a buckle mechanism that is too complicated for proper fastening by an average user. Despite being manufactured correctly and marketed with clear instructions, the inherent complexity of the buckle’s design leads to incorrect usage by parents, resulting in inadequate protection during car accidents. The flaw lies in the initial design, which inherently compromises safety.

Manufacturing Mistakes – Issues in the Process

Even products that pass through the manufacturer’s initial testing as safe could experience issues during the manufacturing process. This can occur due to an error in the mass production process of a product, such as part of the assembly line breaking. Typically, manufacturing errors only affect a limited line of a particular product, but they can still lead to major injuries or death to consumers.

Example of a manufacturing error

A popular brand of electric kettles is designed for safe use with an auto-shutoff feature to prevent overheating. However, during the manufacturing process at one of the facilities, a batch of kettles has faulty wiring that prevents the auto-shutoff feature from activating. This defect, introduced during the assembly line, could lead to overheating and potential fire hazards despite the original safe design and accurate marketing claims.

Marketing Errors – Labeling and Advertising Issues

Consumers rely on product marketing and labeling to make decisions and to know how to properly use or consume a product. However, if there are any errors on the product label or misinformation during a marketing campaign, consumers could be misled and improperly use a product. The umbrella of marketing errors includes not only advertising related to a product but also every bit of information on the packaging. Marketing mistakes such as incorrect dosages, misleading statements, missing product warnings, and more can all lead to serious injuries and fatalities.

Example of a marketing mistake

A pharmaceutical company releases a new painkiller intended for adults suffering from chronic pain. The medication is effective and safely designed and produced. However, the marketing materials fail to highlight that the drug is unsuitable for individuals with certain pre-existing conditions, such as liver disease. This omission in the marketing materials could lead to severe adverse effects in these unprotected groups, making the product dangerously misleading.

Speak to an Attorney for Help

If you or a loved one has been harmed due to a faulty product in Washington, please contact an attorney for advice today.Product liability claims are challenging, but an Seattle product liability attorney can help you understand your best options moving forward.