Product Liability – Types of Defects

A member of the New York State Bar Association, Lisa M. Nousek has nearly a decade of experience practicing law in the New York area. Lisa M. Nousek is a partner at Boies, Schiller & Flexner, LLP and handles civil litigations, including product liability.

A safeguard for consumers, product liability holds a manufacturer, wholesaler, and retail store owner responsible for damages caused by its products. Considered a strict liability offense, product liability weighs heavily on the defectiveness of a product. Attorneys handling a product liability case must provide sufficient evidence to prove that product was flawed in design, manufacturing, or marketing.

Design defect predates product manufacturing. While a product may fulfill its purpose, the design can cause unnecessary harm to consumers. A plaintiff who wishes to argue a case based on design defect must provide a hypothetical alternative design that offers safer features, carries out the intended use, and maintains economic viability.

A manufacturing defect occurs during the creation of a product. Typically, a manufacturing defect only affects a small amount of products within a larger batch being produced. The item strays from the original design, and therefore becomes a dangerous product for consumers.

The final defect involves marketing, which requires proper disclosure of all product dangers. In addition, a marketing defect is caused with the distribution of improper product instructions.

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