Warning Tag

What is a Defective Product?

Defective products are products considered by the law as “unreasonably dangerous” due to some manufacturing or design flaw that creates a risk of fire, explosion or injury. A product may also be deemed defective due to inadequate instructions or warnings.

Products carrying these flaws can range from small televisions to large tractors used in farming operations. If you ask an experienced product defect/fire litigation lawyer, the lawyer will tell you that he or she has seen just about every type of electrically charged product catch fire due to a design or manufacturing defect. That same attorney may also share this as a reason why kitchen appliances should never be left plugged-in and why it is much safer to use charcoal rather than gas-fired grills. We are a paranoid bunch!

State and Federal products liability laws recognize the dangers created by defective products and make it easier to hold the manufacturers accountable. According to the American Legislative Exchange Council, approximately twenty states have codified their product liability laws as of 2012, and many of these states base their laws on “model” legislative Acts.

The great thing about these laws is that they generally remove the requirement to prove “negligence” in order to hold a manufacturer accountable. The laws presume the manufacturer is negligent for allowing a defective product into the community.

Many resources, such the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission (“NHTSA”), keep track of defective products and voluntary or involuntary recalls. While the CPSC and NHTSA provide some oversight, these agencies cannot possibly prevent all defective products from entering the community. There are times that a defect is limited to only a few of a manufacturer’s products, such as a propane grill’s gas supply line not being properly crimped to the burner mechanism during the manufacturing process. A more sinister possibility is a manufacturer either failing or refusing to recognize a need to recall products that are unreasonably dangerous due to a design defect applicable to all the products. It is indeed a very expensive proposition to recall millions of products!

In the event an individual or property is injured by one of these products, it is essential to contact a lawyer with extensive experience in dealing with the applicable laws and the manufacturers’ litigation strategies and internal procedures. This includes following the complex laws necessary to haul a foreign component manufacturer into our justice system if necessary. Contact court@ctklegal.com if you need to consult with a lawyer or would like more information.