Purchasing consumer goods is essentially a daily activity for most individuals in California and elsewhere. Many will not second-guess the safety and quality of the product unless it is broken or visibly defected. Unfortunately, it is not always apparent and obvious when a product is defective, causing many consumers to suffer injuries each year because of this. Thus, it is important for consumers to fully understand their rights when a defective product is the cause of the harms he or she has suffered.
Types of product defects
The type of product defect can signal the harms a consumer might suffer, and it could also designate what party or parties are responsible for the defect. The first is a design defect, meaning that there were defects in the product from the very beginning, even before it was manufactured. The next is a manufacturing defect, which means that the defect occurred in the course of the product being manufactured. The final type of defect is a marketing defect. This is when there are flaws in the way the product in marketed, such as issues with labeling, instructions and safety warnings.
Depending on the situation and type of defect, a consumer is afforded legal remedies for the harms suffered. When asserting a product liability action, one of two legal theories is likely used. This includes negligence and strict liability.
When asserting negligence, this means that the consumer must prove that the manufacturer breached the duty owed to the consumer; by breaching this duty, the consumer was injured and suffered actual damages as a result.
Strict liability applies for defects that occurred during the manufacturing process. This remains no matter the level of care the manufacturer provided during the process. This means that the injured consumer does not need to prove negligence but rather that the defect was the result of a manufacturing error.
When filing a products liability action, it is important that an injured consumer fully understands the matter and what rights and options are available to them. This not only helps one move forward with the action but also ensures that their rights and interests are protected.