A Corning Product Liability Attorney Explains Product Liability

Sometimes the cause of an accident isn’t based on the negligence of another person, but rather a part that didn’t function as intended. For example, airbags that didn’t go off in a car accident that lead the driver to suffer severe head trauma. We call personal injury cases based on the failure of a product, “product liability,” which refers to the liability of any or all parties along the chain of manufacture of any unsafe product for damage caused by that product. The chain of manufacturing includes the manufacturer of component parts, down through any assembling manufacturer, wholesaler, and down to the retail store owner.

Product liability law can be complex and requires an experienced Corning product liability lawyer to evaluate what went wrong and hire experts to attest to the failure. At Proudfoot Law Firm our product defect attorneys have the experience and skill necessary to handle all of the complications that are part of a product liability or produce defect case.

What Types of Product Defects May Create Liability?

There are three types of product defects that may give rise to liability for those within the manufacturing chain:

Design Defects

Design defects are inherent in the product, existing before the product is even manufactured. Even if a product may serve its purpose well enough, it can be unreasonably dangerous to use due to a flaw in its design. In 47 states, including New York, the claimant has the burden to prove the existence of a design defect.

Manufacturing Defects

Manufacturing defects occur during the assembly, production, or construction of the item. Even products that were designed safely can be made unsafe during the manufacturing process.

Marketing Defects

Defects in marketing include improper instructions and/or failures to adequately warn consumers of any dangers in the product or its use that are unforeseeable by the consumer.

Examples of Design Defects

Commonly, design defects are the most difficult type of defect to understand and prove. Some common examples of design defects include:

  • Infant or child toys designs that are defective because they are designed to be too small, presenting a choking hazard.
  • Kitchen appliances that are designed with cheap, improperly insulated parts that tend to catch on fire.
  • Hollow car headrests that bend. Upon impact from behind, your car is accelerated forward. This acceleration pushes the seat against your back, providing a bodily cushion, but your neck and head continue to move backward with the force of the impact. If your headrest poles are hollow, they tend to bend backward rather than support your neck and head.
  • A defectively designed safety guard on a power tool that exposes you to injuries.
  • Defectively designed lids for containers of toxic or dangerous liquids or substances like poisons.

What Are Some Common Types of Dangerous Products?

There are far more types of dangerous products than most of us realize. Just a few of these include:

  • Adhesives and glues
  • Aerosols
  • Antifreeze
  • Arts and crafts supplies
  • Batteries
  • Carpet and rug cleaners
  • Drain cleaners
  • Hair products
  • Medicines
  • Oven cleaners
  • Pesticides
  • Photographic chemicals
  • Pool or spa chemicals
  • Septic tank cleaners
  • Stain and spot removers

What Do I Do If I’m Affected By a Recall?

Most consumer product recalls are disseminated by commercials on TV, or through a notice letter from the manufacturer. Motor vehicle recalls are by far the most common type of recall.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) (PDF), Federal law requires manufacturers to provide consumers with a recall remedy free of charge within a reasonable amount of time. “Reasonable,” in practice, means not very soon. You should insist on your right to a recall remedy at no cost. Most recalls are run through local dealerships.

While your recall remedy is free, the choice of remedy belongs to the manufacturer. Car manufacturers can choose from three recall remedies depending on the nature of the defect:

  • Repair. The manufacturer will repair the defect free of charge. This commonly occurs for small, easily fixed defects.
  • Replace. The manufacturer will replace your car or equipment free of charge.
  • Refund. The manufacturer will refund your purchase (minus depreciation). Refunds are only available for car recalls; manufacturers of car equipment are only required to repair or replace defective equipment. And good luck getting any car maker to part with any cash money.

The NHTSA maintains an online booklet ofimportant recall information for consumers. This source is comprehensive and widely cited. If you have more specific questions, you may wish to read it or otherwise contact NHTSA.

A Corning Personal Injury Attorney at Proudfoot Law Firm Understands the Complexity of Product Liability Claims

If you believe you have purchased a defective product, contact us for a free consultation. We look forward to investigating your claim and explaining your rights within the legal system.