A defect is an issue with a product that makes it inherently dangerous for consumers to use. According to the National Safety Council, 11.7 million people in 2021 were treated in emergency rooms for injuries resulting from consumer products. An injured consumer in Nebraska can file what is known as a product liability claim to pursue financial compensation for a defective product. There are three main types of product defects that lead to these claims.
The first type of product defect is a design flaw. Some consumer products are dangerous by design, meaning the creator or engineer behind the item put a mistake in its make-up that creates a hazard. In other words, the inherent design or foundational elements of the product contain defects that make the item unreasonably dangerous to use.
Examples are a bedframe that cracks and breaks when someone jumps onto the bed, or a motor vehicle that is designed with a center of gravity that is too high and runs the risk of rollover accidents. If a product contains a design flaw, it poses an injury risk to consumers even if it is manufactured and advertised correctly.
The second type of product defect is a manufacturing mistake. This means that something went wrong during the production, assembly or manufacturer of the item – resulting in a product that is dangerous to consumers. Examples are a batch of lettuce that is contaminated by E. coli at the packaging factory or a bicycle that is manufactured with a missing chain. Manufacturing mistakes can take an item that would have been reasonably safe and make it dangerous or deadly for consumers with issues that occur during production.
Marketing defects refer to errors that are made with how an item is packaged or advertised. It can describe an item that deserves a warning label but does not receive one, such as a children’s toy that is missing an appropriate age range warning. It can also refer to a lack of proper instruction including on how to safely use a product. Marketing defects can lead to consumer accidents and injuries by failing to warn them of risks that might not be obvious to the average user.
What Is a Product Recall?
When a product defect is discovered, the manufacturer of the item or a safety organization such as the Consumer Safety Product Commission will issue a recall. A recall is a public notice stating that a product has been removed from the shelves due to a dangerous defect. Sometimes recalls involve consumer injuries, illnesses and deaths that have already occurred, but not always. The recall will be sent to all known purchasers of the product. It will include a recommendation for what to do, such as to return the product to the manufacturer for free repairs or discard it and receive a refund.
How to File a Product Liability Lawsuit in Nebraska
If a defective product causes a consumer injury or kills someone, the victim or victim’s family can file a product liability lawsuit in Nebraska. Most of these cases qualify for the strict product liability doctrine. This is a legal rule that states that a product manufacturer, distributor or retailer will be automatically liable for a victim’s injuries, regardless of whether that party was negligent. This rule is in place to protect the average consumer, who is at a disadvantage when going up against a powerful manufacturing company.
For the strict liability doctrine to apply, the item must contain one of the three above-mentioned product defects and it must have caused the victim’s injuries or property losses. If one of the three defects is present, this can make it easier for the consumer to receive financial compensation for his or her losses by removing the requirement to prove negligence.
It is always important for a victim to hire a product liability lawyer in Omaha for assistance with this type of case. Product liability claims can be complicated and require guidance from an experienced and skilled lawyer.