A manufacturing defect refers to an error in the design or production of a product, causing it to not work properly. The product deviates from its intended design and can cause harm, injury, or fatality to consumers. Injured parties are protected under the product liability law, also known as the Manufacturing Defect Law, which grants them the right to take legal action.

Manufacturing Defect Law

A manufacturing defect occurs when there is an accidental error during either the design or production of a product, causing it to not work as intended. Defective products can cause significant harm to consumers. In order to protect consumer rights and collect damages for injured parties, consumer protection laws have been implemented in the United States.

Manufacturing Defect laws ensure that companies are producing safe, well-made merchandise. According to the Manufacturing Defect Law, it is the responsibility of the manufacturer, creator, designer, or assembler of a product or a product's component parts to compensate for injury caused by defective merchandise.

Compensation for damages includes:

  • Hospital bills
  • Ongoing surgeries and medical care
  • Prescription medication
  • Lost wages from work
  • Wrongful death damages

Manufacturing defect lawsuits are hard to prove. It is advised that injured parties seek a legal aid who can show that:

  • Damages took place
  • The item was made with a defect
  • These defects were either completely responsible for the injury or played a significant role in causing harm
  • The manufacturer knew of the defects and ignored them or failed to take corrective action

Types of Defects

There are three types of product defects:

  1. Design defects occur before a product is manufactured because the product was either not tested properly, or poorly designed. Every item that is produced using the flawed design is considered dangerous.
    • Examples:
      • Toys made for small children that contain choking hazards
      • Vehicles with mechanical defects
  2. Manufacturing defects happen when an error in the manufacturing process deviates from the intended design.
    • Example:
      • A contaminated batch of medicine
  3. Warning defects hold the manufacturer, supplier, or vendor responsible for inadequate warning labels or instructions for use on a product.
    • Examples:
      • Prescription drugs that do not include drug interaction side effects or warnings
      • Chemicals that are sold without proper handling instructions

In failure-to-warn claims, injury victims generally must establish the following facts:

  • The danger was not obvious to the consumer. Manufacturers are typically not required to warn users of risks inherent
    to the product's purpose. For example, the risk of matches starting a fire is considered apparent.
  • The injury victim was using the product as intended or misusing it in a predictable fashion. A manufacturer might not be liable if a consumer's injury resulted from an incorrect and unpredictable use of the product.
  • The manufacturer's warning was not obvious or clear. If a warning is present, but it isn't intelligibly worded or easily visible, it may not be considered adequate.

    Manufacturers also have a responsibility to perform ongoing research and tests to uncover product flaws. Therefore, manufacturers may be held responsible for failing to warn of defects that were unknown but should have been discovered.

Product Defects: Legal Theories

Legal theories differ depending on the state where the case occurred and the state-specific laws concerning product liability. Strict product liability claims do not focus on the wrongdoing, but the dangers associated with the product. A company or individual is held responsible for damages or injuries without proof of the mistake or negligence.

Product liability cases can be brought against any part of the manufacturing chain, including the person or manufacturer of the parts, the manufacturer who assembled the parts, the wholesaler and the owner of the retail outlet that sold the merchandise. Negligence cases occur when an individual or company's carelessness results in a defective product. Breach of Warranty is based on a contract between the injured party and the seller. The product either doesn't meet expectations or standards, functions poorly, or was misrepresented with false statements.

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