In the United States consumers are protected by numerous federal laws that attempt to ensure the products we use are safe and free from defects. Despite these laws, defective products do manage to make it into the stream of commerce and, eventually, into the hands of consumers. When that occurs a consumer can be seriously, or even fatally, injured. Although no amount of compensation is worth suffering serious injuries, or losing a loved one, it is important to know that as the victim, or survivor, of a defective product injury you may be entitled to compensation from the negligent, or at-fault, party or parties. You may be asking “How do I know if I have a defective product case?” The best way to be sure that your injuries form the basis of a compensable defective product case is to consult with an experienced Louisiana product liability attorney; however, in the meantime it may help to gain a better understand of the law of product liability to help you decide if you have a valid lawsuit.
Defective products are covered under the area of the law known as “product liability.” In general, a product may be found to be defective, under the theory of product liability, in one of three ways:
- Design defect – these are defects that are inherent in the design of the product itself. As such, all of the products manufactured with that design will be defective. For example, if you purchased a child care seat and the seat claims to be suitable for children up to 30 pounds but the seat actually tends to come unbuckled in a high speed impact when a child weighing more than 25 pounds is in the seat that is a design defect.
- Manufacturing defect – these defects are only introduced into the product during the manufacturing stage of the process. In other words, the design itself is safe; however, something happened when the product was being manufactured that made the product unsafe. In the car seat example, assume that the seat design really was safe for children up to 30 pounds; however, at a certain factory one day the wrong metal was used to manufacture the buckle on the seat, making the buckle weaker than it should be and causing it to come unbuckled in a high speed impact. That is a manufacturing defect.
- Failure to warn – some products, by their very nature, cannot be made safe. Household cleaning products, painting supplies, liquids used in your car, are all products that are necessarily made with dangerous substances. When this is the case, the product should have an adequate warning on it so consumers know about the dangers. If an adequate warning is missing the product is considered defective.
If you believe you were injured by a product that falls into any of these three categories, you may have the basis for a defective product lawsuit in the State of Louisiana. If you have additional questions or concerns, contact the Louisiana defective product liability attorneys at Broussard & Hart, LLC by calling 337-439-2450 to schedule your appointment today.