INJURED BY A DEFECTIVE PRODUCT? WHAT NEXT?December 7, 2016
The law allows injured parties to use one of three ways to show that a product is defective. A product is legally defective when, at the time of sale or distribution, it contains a manufacturing defect, a design defect, or is considered defective because it is not accompanied by adequate instructions or warnings.
A manufacturing defect can be simplified as a product that departs from its intended design, despite thorough care and attention in making and marketing the product. A design defect occurs when there is a foreseeable risk of harm posed by the product that could have been reduced or avoided by adopting a reasonably alternative design. Inadequate warnings or instructions are found when the product poses a foreseeable risk of harm, and could have been avoided or reduced if there had been reasonable instructions or warnings with the product.
The first way to prove a product is defective is through a manufacturing defect. Courts typically apply a test known as the “deviation from the norm test” which compares the product that caused the injury to the manufacturer’s plans as well as other identical units of the product. If a component used in the final product caused the harm, the manufacturer of the component may also be held liable if the component itself is defective, the seller or maker of the component took part in its integration into the final product, and that integration causes the product to be defective.
The second way to prove a product is defective by its design. Texas courts hold that the injured party must prove that there was a safer alternative design available that was economically and technologically feasible, and that the risk of the design outweighed its utility. To determine if the risk outweighs the utility, some of the most important factors considered include the danger posed by the product, likelihood that the danger would occur, the user’s awareness of inherent dangers, and the expectations of an ordinary consumer. If an injured party can show that the other party declined to use a reasonably available alternative design, and the risks posed by the design of the product outweighed its utility the product is defective by design.
The third way to prove a product is defective is by showing that the manufacturer or seller failed to provide adequate warnings of potential effects of the product. Failure to warn can be established by proving that here is an inherent risk when using the product, the producer knew or should have known of the risk at the time they sold the product, without a warning or adequate instructions the product is unreasonably dangerous, and there is a relationship between the failure to warn and the injury suffered.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries from a defective product, the lawyers at the Amaro Law Firm may be able to hold the manufacturer liable. Defective products are all around us, but it takes an experienced attorney to prove the product is defective to win you the compensation you deserve. We work on a contingency basis, which means we only get compensated when you do. Contact us today for a free consultation.