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3 ways a product may be defective

When you buy a product, you likely don’t know much about how that product was designed, how it was manufactured or what decisions were made when it came to how to market it to consumers. What you do know is that if the product is new, it should be working properly and in good condition; you also assume that if there are risks associated with using the item, it will come with appropriate instructions and warnings. These are reasonable expectations.

Unfortunately, these expectations are not always met when a product is defective in some way. Flawed, dangerous products have the potential to cause serious injuries to users so it can be crucial that people understand what factors make a product defective and what consumers can do if they are hurt by one.

There are three types of defects in products: design, manufacturing and marketing defects. In order to understand the differences between these, let’s consider them in the context of a specific item like a power drill.

Imagine you bought a drill and have been using it for a few months on repair projects throughout your home. However, the last time you used it, it didn’t work right and you ended up with a serious injury.

If the drill malfunctioned because the trigger got stuck or suddenly the drill sped up and you lost control of it, there may be reason to suspect a defect in the design of how fast the drill would move and how a user would be able to control it.

If a part snapped off, broke or overheated to such an extent that it led to serious burns, the problem may be linked to manufacturing defects where the drill was improperly assembled or made with substandard parts.

If the power drill malfunctioned because it was not made for certain projects or needed to be stored or charged in a specific way, this could be considered a marketing defect if no such warnings or alerts came with the product.

With all this in mind, it is important to note that just because a product causes an injury or breaks unexpectedly it does not mean there are grounds for a product liability claim. There are many defenses to defective product claims so it can be crucial to discuss individual cases with an attorney.