Holding Companies Responsible for Defective Products

Defective product lawsuits cover a wide range of problems that consumers experience. An Alabama woman sued Apple a couple years ago after she purchased an iPhone 3G because of advertisements touting “twice as fast for half the price.” When the woman started using the phone, however, she found that her internet connection, e-mail, and text messages were slower than what she expected and what Apple advertised. She claimed that the iPhone connected to the 3G standard less than 25% of the time and it frequently dropped her calls.

Defective product lawsuits are more common when a product causes injury. Earlier this year, a jury rendered a $16 million verdict against Ford on behalf of a woman was paralyzed in a car accident. The woman was a passenger in the back seat of a Ford Explorer when the driver of another car caused the accident. During the collision, the rear seat latch failed, causing the seat to fold onto the woman and slamming her into the front console. The accident left her paralyzed from the neck down.

The jury found that, based on the evidence, Ford knew about the dangers of the lap only seatbelts for more than 30 years given the company’s extensive crash test research. Ford failed to correct the problem, the jury found, by continuing to use lap seatbelts instead of safer shoulder ones. If a dangerous product has injured you, a Lufkin injury lawyer can help obtain compensation for your injuries and suffering.

When Companies are Responsible for Defective Products

The three, general areas in which companies can be negligent with their products are:

  • Manufacturing defects. These occur during the manufacturing process and involve manufacturing decisions like the types of material or what processes to use. Using weak plastic, for example, instead of steel, as the design calls for, could jeopardize the safety of consumers who ultimately use the product.
  • Design defects. Design defects are inherent flaws that occur regardless of a manufacturer’s actions. The manufacturer could take all the precautions in the world, but an inherent design defect will continue to manifest itself. For example, if a company designs a car without an important safety feature, that is a design defect. Regardless of what the manufacturer does, the car is inherently flawed.
  • Failure to warn. Businesses owe a duty to their consumers to warn about their products’ dangers if the dangers are not obvious. If a certain shampoo, for instance, causes abnormally severe damage to eyes, the company that makes the shampoo must provide adequate warnings about the potential danger.

Defective products law is a large field, however, and these general areas do not account for all of the recent changes in the law. The doctrine of strict liability is becoming increasingly prevalent throughout the country. Strict liability holds manufacturers (and sometimes other parties) liable for defective products, even if the manufacturer was not negligent. Courts have moved in this direction in order to protect consumers.

Contact a Lufkin injury attorney at Mike Love & Associates, LLC for more information about defective products and obtaining compensation for your injuries.