Three Types of Product Defects

Product Defects

Companies are supposed to design and manufacture safe products. No matter what the product is, it should be reasonably safe and, when needed, have appropriate warnings or instructions on how to use it. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

Product Defects

When a product is defective, it will be classified as having one of the following product defects (flaws).

Manufacturing flaws or defects are caused by errors in making the product; they are not intended to be part of the product. Typically, manufacturing flaws will be found in a small number of products, such as ones manufactured in a defined time frame in which the flaw existed. For example, it could be that during a short time period substandard materials were used that created a product defect. Once the right materials were again used, the defect disappeared; thus, the defect was only in a small number of items manufactured.

If you think about this in terms of strict liability, the manufacturer is liable for any manufacturing defects that occur as a result of faulty construction and/or assembly.

Design flaws are part of the original design, causing the product to be unreasonably unsafe or creating a hazard for users. Since it is part of the original design, these types of flaws will be found in all products manufactured.

Failure to Warn, aka, marketing flaws. This means that the manufacturer (or others) failed to properly warn consumers about dangers or risks posed by the product and/or did not provide adequate warnings or instructions for using the product safely, preventing injury from foreseeable risks.

Liability for this could lie with any party in the chain of distribution.

Warning Labels for Defective Products

When a warning label is required, it should be highly visible and placed as close to the area of the hazard as possible. According to ANSI (American National Standards Institute), the organization responsible for maintaining rules and regulations for safety symbols and product safety signs and label, a warning label should inform consumers of:

  • existing hazards
  • severity of the risk involved with the particular product
  • effects of the hazard
  • how to avoid the hazard

Should you decide to pursue a product liability claim, questions that can help you determine the adequacy of the warning label include:

  • Was it likely the product would cause harm?
  • Was the product being used in the manner for which it was intended?
  • How serious was the harm?
  • What knowledge level could the manufacturer assume a user had?
  • How much did the label rely on the experience and/or knowledge of the user?
  • Was the warning simple and clear enough to understand?

Who May be Held Liable for Product Defects?

Any company that designs, manufactures, sells, or distributes a dangerous or defective product could potentially be held liable if it causes or contributes to a person’s injury or wrongful death, starting with the company that made the product to the store that sold it to the end consumer. One or all in the distribution chain may be held liable.

With regards to retailers: It does not matter that they did not make the product. It is not necessary for you to have been the buyer of the product to sue. Someone else could have bought the product for you, and when you used it you suffered an injury.

What Should You Do if You have been Hurt by a Defective Product?

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a defective product, arrange a consultation with a defective product lawyer, such as the Nash & Franciskato law firm in Kansas City. You will also want to:

Store the product in a safe place, making sure you (or your lawyer) retains possession of it. You will want to keep any pieces and parts that may have broken off with the product. These may be used as physical evidence and hold the key to your claim.

Take photos – LOTS of photos – from all angles and all sides. This will give you a visual of its physical state after causing the injuries you suffered.

Do not do anything to fix the product or change it. Leave it as it is so that we can understand and see what failed.

Gather any documentation you have on or about the product. This might include: owner’s manual, technical information, user’s instructions, purchase records and receipts, product descriptions from the website, warranties and more.

Request copies of your medical records documenting related injuries and treatment.



Establishing legal fault can be complex sometimes requiring the testimony of experts and every state has its own laws that may affect a case. An experienced product liability attorney can answer your questions. Contact the capable counsel you need now. One of our experienced staff will speak with you personally and provide you with a free, no-obligation case evaluation.



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