Most Manufacturers Aren’t Interested in Making Products That’ll Last a Lifetime
This probably doesn’t surprise you. After all, why would a manufacturer spend more money to make a product that customers will only purchase once?
Why would they make a product that lasts 50 years when they could produce a cheaper one that lasts five years and requires the customer to return and buy a replacement part or pay to have the item repaired?
In hopes of making more money, General Motors in the 1920s came up with the idea of “planned obsolescence,” an idea to make products that would become obsolete in a certain amount of time. The idea is to incentivize consumers to return and buy another product or pay to have the current one fixed.
This practice is not necessarily negligent; however, when a company makes products with cheaper materials, uses fewer employees, or takes fewer inspection measures, the risk of a defective product increases exponentially.
If you believe you’ve suffered injury or loss due to a defective product, call a Commack defective product attorney from Carner & Devita. Here is some information you should review before deciding to file a claim.
How might product safety laws affect my case?
Product safety laws regulate the designing, manufacturing, distribution, sale, and resale of products. They are enforced to keep consumers safe from dangerous products. But unfortunately, many products slip through the cracks due to lenient laws that favor manufacturers.
The purpose of product safety laws is to:
- Protect the public from unreasonable dangers and injury associated with products used by consumers
- Assist consumers by evaluating a product’s safety
- Develop a uniform product safety standard to minimize state and local regulation
- Promote safety regulations and identify the causes of product-related injury, death, and illness
The laws were put in place to protect consumers and entreat manufacturers to comply with health and safety regulations regarding their products. However, manufacturers (or, indeed, the government) are often negligent in upholding or following these regulations.
If a manufacturer fails to do so by making a defective product, they may be held responsible under a claim for negligence, which falls under product liability law. Let’s go into a little more detail about negligence.
Any individual involved in the process of designing, manufacturing, or distributing has a legal duty to provide a safe product. If their failure to exercise reasonable care (following the proper laws and regulations, being reasonably prudent in their duties) results in a consumer’s injury or death, that person can be held liable.
Common negligence claims under product liability law include:
- Careless mistakes during manufacturing
- Design errors
- Failure to warn consumers of dangers or potential dangers related to the product
Negligence isn’t the only possible claim in a defective product case. Depending on the facts and circumstances of your injury, you may be able to file a strict liability or breach of warranty claim. Contact a Commack defective product attorney if either of the following applies to your situation.
Strict liability differs from negligence in that a party can be held responsible regardless of their intent or fault. In other words, strict liability doesn’t focus on the defendant’s (manufacturer’s, designer’s, distributor’s, etc.) fault; instead, it focuses on the dangerousness of the product itself.
A party can be held responsible under strict liability if the product they designed, manufactured, or distributed is determined to be unreasonably dangerous to consumers and use of the product resulted in injury.
The fact that the product is defective is grounds enough to hold the party or parties liable.
Breach of Warranty
Breach of warranty is based on contract law, meaning that there is a “contract” between the seller and the consumer. “Warranty” can be seen as a guarantee – this product will do what it is intended to do and meets market expectations.
In breach of warranty cases, a party can be held liable for violating their own guarantee. The guarantee (warranty) can be express or implied.
An express warranty is a clear statement made by the manufacturer or seller. Here are some examples of an express warranty:
- Packaging that says a lightbulb will last 2,000 hours
- A car dealership says your engine will last 200,000 miles
- A shop owner says a certain watch is waterproof up to 250 feet
United States law imposes implied warranties on the manufacturer or seller of a product, enforcing implied contracts so consumers will have a resource or course of action for goods that don’t meet basic expectations. There are two types of implied warranty: merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose.
- Merchantability – The product meets market expectations. For example, one market expectation for a vehicle is that it will come with a steering wheel.
- Fitness for a particular purpose – The product will perform the function for which it is intended. For example, an employee at a hardware store sells a customer outdoor paint to put on their deck.
As you can see, product liability laws can be quite complicated. For your case to be successful, you need an experienced Commack defective product attorney by your side. The lawyers at Carner & DeVita take pride in the ability to provide effective, tenacious representation to all clients, and will work hard to obtain the best possible result in your case.
Call Carner & DeVita at (631) 380-4417 for more information.
Common Examples of Defective Products
Any of the hundreds of products that you use daily could be defective and cause injury. That doesn’t mean you need to live in fear and assume that anything around you could break or fall at any second, but if you were injured due to a defect caused by someone’s negligence, you have the right to hold them accountable.
Some products are far more likely than others to be defective, and although any man-made item has the potential to be defective and cause injury (such as a coffee mug), some products are far more likely to be involved in actual product liability cases.
Here are some of the most common defective products:
These can be some of the most dangerous defects, as a driver’s life quite literally depends on the vehicle’s serviceability. Defective auto parts, including brakes, ignition switches, seatbelts, emission systems, and tire or airbag defects can cause serious, even deadly, injuries.
Occasionally, the entire design of the vehicle is defective, like a top-heavy SUV that is prone to rollover accidents.
Unfortunately, many auto recalls occur after people have already been injured or killed. If you or a loved one were injured because of a defective auto part or vehicle, it’s your legal right to hold the manufacturer or distributor responsible. Accountability is important because it helps prevent the manufacturer from making the same mistake and harming more people.
Chemicals can work wonders for cleaning, cooking, and pretty much every other area of life. They can also cause severe injury. Improperly labeled household products and cosmetics containing powerful chemicals have been known to cause burn injuries and poisoning. Without proper warning labels, you may even be injured by a product that has no design or manufacturing defects.
Chemical burns can affect anyone, as powerful chemicals are located in just about everything we use, children’s clothing included. In one such case, a nine-year-old boy from Hinsdale, New York suffered second-degree burns on his feet after his Sketchers light-up sneakers got wet and leaked battery acid.
Some of the most common toxic or corrosive chemicals that can cause burns include:
- Concrete mix
- Drain or toilet cleaners
- Hydrochloric acid
- Pool chlorination products
- Sulfuric acid
Children’s Products and Toys
Because children are vulnerable, parents rightfully expect the items that they buy for their children to wear, play with, or sleep on will be safe. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
In the United States, approximately 12,175 children ages 0 to 19 die every year from unintentional injuries, including burns, poisoning, and strangulation.
While you can’t be with your child every minute of every day, you can hold the responsible party accountable for producing an ineffective or dangerous product that injured your child. These are some of the most common defective child and baby products:
- Bunk beds
- Pool floats
- Teething rings
- Baby monitors
These products can cause a host of injuries ranging in severity, including brain injuries, cuts and lacerations, fractures, burns, choking, and poisoning.
If your child was injured by a defective product, know that you are not alone. A Commack defective product attorney from Carner & DeVita is here to represent you and your child and obtain the compensation you need for their medical treatment and related expenses. Call (631) 380-4417 today.
You’ve probably experienced an annoying mishap with an appliance in your home – buttons on the microwave stick, the fridge is too loud – but some are more than just an aggravating noise or inconvenience. Some appliances can cause severe injury due to a design or manufacturing flaw.
According to the National Safety Council, there were 93,700 preventable injury-related home deaths in 2019 alone. In the same year, there were 26,200,000 medically-consulted injuries in the home, and 2019 also saw an increase in falls and poisoning-related injuries.
Injuries caused by dangerous and defective products fall under this category and can occur for many reasons, including manufacturing and design flaws. These are some of the most commonly defective household appliances:
- Ceiling fans
- Food processors and blenders
- Ovens, stoves, and toasters
- Refrigerators and freezers
- Space heaters
Ceiling fans can become loose, detach, and fall on the unsuspecting person below; metal bits of a food processor can break off and slip into the blended mixture; stoves can cause burns, and toasters can electrocute; refrigerators can crush or cause a slip and fall injury; the cooling chemicals in freezers can poison someone, and space heaters can burn or start a fire.
If you have a condition requiring you to use a medical device, you expect the device to work accurately and safely. You expect the designers and manufacturers to take great care in creating the product, as it is necessary to keep you healthy – it might be necessary to keep you alive.
However, poor design and manufacturing defects occur far too often, putting the people who need the device most at risk for severe injury or death. Some of the most common defective medical products include:
- Dialysis filters
- Hernia mesh
- Pelvic mesh
- IVC filters
If you or a loved one were injured due to a defective medical device, you deserve justice and compensation for treatment. A Commack defective product attorney from Carner & DeVita will represent you with vigor to award you with the money you deserve.
Call us today for a free case consultation.
Who may be responsible in a product liability case?
The simple answer is this: anyone in the chain of distribution, which is the path the product is on from design to manufacture to distribution to the customer. Keep in mind that you may be able to recover damages from multiple parties. Let’s break down the possible liable parties:
The manufacturer of the defective product that caused your injury could be a multinational company or one person working out of their backyard.
You can include additional parties who were involved in the design, marketing, or manufacturing of the product (especially if they are a third-party consultant or contractor). For example, if your claim involves a design defect, you would include any design consultants hired and used by the manufacturer.
If the defective item is part of a larger product, you should include the manufacturer of the smaller component and the manufacturer of the product as a whole. For example, if you were injured by an overheated computer with a defective CPU cooling system, you would bring the product liability claim against the manufacturer of the CPU and the manufacturer of the computer itself.
More often than not, the manufacturer will be held liable for the injury caused by their defective product. However, retailers may be held responsible for stocking and selling a dangerous product.
Retailers often argue that they should not be held responsible for a defect because they didn’t design or manufacture the product. However, they do have a responsibility to sell safe products and should take measures to ensure their inventory is free of items that could cause their customers harm.
The retailer may have acted negligently in your case as well. Speak with a Commack defective product attorney if you’re curious about the specifics of your potential case.
The Wholesaler or Distributor
With more and more products being sold online, many wholesalers are expanding their services (advising product design, etc.) to add to their supply chain relationships, potentially exposing themselves to a higher risk of product liability.
For example, many wholesalers offer post-sale services such as assembly or delivery. These services are usually reserved for the manufacturer, whose employees will have the proper training and equipment for the specific items. Performing those services without the necessary training or equipment, therefore, may open your case to another liable party – the wholesaler.
Contact a Commack Defective Product Attorney
Designers, manufacturers, and distributors must take proper care in developing products to keep consumers safe. Serious injury or even death can occur if they don’t, and unfortunately, many manufacturers neglect to follow the proper precautions.
Those are unacceptable mistakes that should be dealt with legally to prevent future mistakes – and future injuries – from occurring. Too many people in New York are injured due to shoddy design or manufacturing errors. If you or a loved one were injured due to a defective product, you have the right to pursue compensation from the responsible parties.
Call Carner & DeVita today at (631) 380-4417 for a free strategy session.