Can Manufacturers be Sued for Defective Products?

Defective products are something companies churn out every now and then. Even established manufacturers could be guilty of rolling out products into the market that are not fit for consumer usage. Thankfully, some manufacturers are proactive enough to realize early that they made a blunder and should recall their products, making sure product users are not affected much. However, there are instances when it gets a bit too late. What if you are at the receiving end of a defective product? Can manufacturers be sued for defective products? And what are your legal resorts if you were injured by a defective product? Let’s find out.

A Brief Intro to a Recall

Before we delve further into the topic, let’s understand ‘recall’ a bit. A recall is basically a manufacturer issuing a request to buyers to return a defective or potentially unsafe product. The defects could not just potentially harm consumers but also put the maker at the risk of legal action. In some cases, manufacturers recall their bad products by themselves or after a regulatory board, such as the FDA in America, requests the producer to do so. If a company, after becoming aware of its product’s defect, doesn’t issue a recall voluntarily and continues selling the product, a government agency could issue the recall on its own.

Product Defect Types

There are primarily three product defect categories to know: design defect, manufacturing defect, and marketing defect.

Design defect, as the name indicates, pertains to the product’s design. A manufacturing defect is a defect that that occurred during the production of a product, which is the stage after design. A marketing defect is a product not having adequate usage instructions or warning labels that bring to light the risks associated with using the product.

Knowing the exact nature of the defect is important since that helps determine whether the manufacturer could be directly blamed or if there are other parties that need to be made accountable too.

Recalls and Manufacturer Liability

A recall doesn’t necessarily mean the manufacturer becomes liable. In the court of law, the plaintiff should still present evidence that the defect actually caused injury. The plaintiff would invariably need the services of a product liability attorney to establish the various elements attached to the claim.

Also, it doesn’t mean legal action cannot be taken against a manufacturer if it issues a recall by itself. The liable manufacturer would, in fact, still have to legally compensate for damages and injuries caused by the product malfunction. But if the manufacturer manages to prove that the plaintiff received recall notice directly and the recall warned the plaintiff of the product’s defect, potential hazards, and safety concerns, proving manufacturer liability toward injuries would become difficult. Kindly note, the recall should have been “direct” and not directed toward all consumers.

 

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Product_recall

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Product_defect