A defective design refers to a product with an inherent flaw introduced during the design stage. As a result, every item manufactured in accordance with the flawed design contains a defect that has the potential to harm the end user. This can mean thousands, or millions, of defective products flooding the market, all with the potential to injure consumers. A person injured by a product with a defective design can hold the manufacturer liable for damages.
When Is a Manufacturer Liable for a Defective Design?
Product liability laws can vary from state to state, but in most states a manufacturer is liable for a defective design when evidence shows that a product contained a foreseeable and preventable risk to consumers who used it for its intended purpose. Some states also require evidence that the manufacturer could have adopted an alternative design resulting in a safer product that still performed its intended function.
Many states follow strict liability laws for product manufacturers. In these states, an injured party has to prove nothing other than they were using the product for its intended purpose and a defect in the product caused them harm. Strict liability states do not require an injured party to show that the product manufacturer was negligent or could have developed a better, safer product.
How Does Defective Design Differ From Defective Manufacture?
Defective design occurs at the planning stage before a single product is physically built. Defective manufacture occurs at the production stage when the product is actually being put together.
An easy question to determine if a product flaw happened during the design process or the manufacturing process is this: If the product had been built correctly, would it still have a defect? If yes, the issue is a defective design; if no, a defective manufacture.
An example of a defective design is the Ford Pinto sold in the 1970s. Because of poor design, the car’s gas tank was located behind the rear bumper, allowing extensive damage to the tank in a rear-end collision. Many Pintos exploded in crashes as a result, injuring or killing their occupants.
An example of defective manufacture would be if a worker at a manufacturing plant insecurely fastened parts onto a bicycle frame. When the rider mounts the bicycle and puts his or her weight on it, it comes apart, causing injury.
Whether a defective product resulted from a design or manufacturing error, you can hold the manufacturer liable for your injuries.
If You Were Injured by a Product With a Defective Design, the Product Liability Lawyers at Newsome Melton Can Help
The Newsome Melton legal team can help you win the compensation you deserve after an injury from a defective product. We can hold the manufacturer liable and potentially win you several types of damages. To schedule a free, no-risk consultation to meet with one of our attorneys and discuss how the meaning and definition of defective design applies to your case, call our office today at 888-808-5977.