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What Is a Defective Product?

Every year, dangerous and defective products injure thousands of Americans. These products can include everything from motor vehicles to medical devices and pharmaceutical drugs. Oftentimes, the injuries caused by defective products are very serious and affect the quality of life of the victims. Fortunately, under product liability law, consumers injured by defective products can sue the manufacturers for compensation.

Product Liability Law

Pursuant to product liability law, manufacturers and sellers have a duty to make sure that their products are free from any defects that may harm consumers. Specifically, they must make certain that their products are designed in a way that is safe for consumers. Manufacturers and sellers also must provide consumers with warnings that adequately explain the risks associated with their products. In addition, products must be manufactured in a manner that meets certain safety specifications. Unfortunately, sometimes manufacturers and sellers fail to uphold these duties and release a product onto the market that carries a dangerous defect.

Types of Defective Products

There are three types of product defects: defects in design, inadequate warnings, and manufacturing defects. A defect in design is an error in a product’s design that makes it dangerous to consumers. For example, thousands of women have filed product liability lawsuits against various manufacturers of transvaginal mesh implants. A major claim in these lawsuits is that a defect in the way the mesh was designed caused it to break apart and erode after only a short period, causing pain and serious complications.

Another way a product can be defective is through a defect in warning. This occurs when a manufacturer provides inadequate warnings about the risks associated with its products. In the transvaginal mesh lawsuits, many women have alleged that manufacturers failed to warn patients about the dangers of mesh erosion and infection.

A third class of a product defect is a defect in manufacturing. This arises when a product fails to meet the manufacturer’s own specifications – thus making it unsafe. A transvaginal mesh implant may have a manufacturing defect if an error in the production process causes the mesh to fall below the manufacturer’s own requirements.

Filing a Product Defect Case

If a consumer can prove that a defective product was the cause of his or her injuries, the manufacturer and seller may be liable for any damages related to the injury. Damages generally include lost earnings, pain and suffering, and medical expenses that resulted from the defective product.

Proving that a product is defective is a complicated process that requires legal expertise. Consequently, individuals who have been harmed by a defective product should consult with an attorney. Under a law known as a statute of limitations, the victims of faulty products have only a limited amount of time to pursue legal action.