3 Product-Related Defects That Can Cause Serious Injuries

22 January 2019
 Categories: , Blog


The products you buy are supposed to enhance your life in some way, whether they save you time or make difficult tasks a little easier. Unfortunately, some manufacturers are more interested in turning a profit than they are in fulfilling the customer's needs. Some of these firms cut corners during the design process or the manufacturing process, while others provide inadequate instructions to help the customer use the product safely. If you were injured due to one of these defects, contact a personal injury lawyer immediately to find out what you should do next.

Product Defects

Design Defects

Product defects can be categorized as either design defects or manufacturing defects. A design defect is an unintentional flaw in the design of a product, while a manufacturing defect is an unintended defect that develops when a manufacturer does not follow the original design plan. The Kinder egg is a good example of a product with a design defect. Kinder eggs are chocolate eggs that contain a small toy. When children eat the eggs, they are surprised to find the toy inside, making the product popular with children all over the world. Unfortunately, Kinder eggs were banned in the United States because the presence of the small toy posed a smoking hazard. This choking hazard is not a manufacturing defect, as the presence of the toy in the egg was not unintended. The eggs were specifically designed to contain small toys, making this a design defect.

Manufacturing Defects

Manufacturing defects occur due to some deviation from the product design during the manufacturing process. If a manufacturer does not follow the original design with respect to the quality of the materials used or the size and strength of the product components, a consumer could be hurt by the resulting manufacturing defect. This is what happened in the McKenzie v. Sk Hand Tool Corp. case. The plaintiff, Ronnie McKenzie, was injured when the wrench he was using broke, causing him to fall. He hired an expert who determined that the wrench had a manufacturing defect because the snap ring on the wrench did not meet the product designer's specifications. The hardness of the ring fell short of the minimum requirement, and the diameter of the ring exceeded the upper limit of the acceptable range. This case shows how dangerous it can be when manufacturers deviate from a product's design specifications.

Marketing Defects

Even if a product has no design or manufacturing flaws, it could pose a risk to consumers if the manufacturer does not label the product accurately and give the consumer adequate instructions for using the product safely. This is known as a marketing defect. Manufacturers can be held responsible if they give customers inaccurate information or if they omit important information from product labels, sales brochures, and other product-related materials.

A good example is the case of Toole v. Richardson-MerrellThe plaintiff in the case took the medication triparanol, which the defendant marketed under the name MER/29. While taking the drug, the plaintiff experienced several adverse effects, including the development of cataracts in both of his eyes. During the lawsuit, it came out that one of Richardson-Merrell's employees changed an existing brochure to remove information about abnormal blood changes that occurred in animals that were used to test the drug. The company's application to sell the drug also contained false and misleading statements. For example, the rats used in the study died, but Richardson-Merrell made up fake body weights and blood test results to make it appear as if the rats had survived. The drug company was found liable for the plaintiff's injuries because it had marketed the product as safe and downplayed the potential side effects.

All three types of defects can cause serious injuries or even death. If you were injured because of a product defect or marketing defect, seek out personal injury attorney services in your area. You have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer, so it is important to get legal advice as soon as possible.