Product liability is a major consideration for manufacturers when they create and distribute goods to consumers. According to product liability laws, a manufacturer or seller can be held legally responsible when a defective product is provided to consumers, particularly when that defect causes injury and harm. Many high profile brands and companies have struggled with product liability and worked to overcome potential damages to their profit margins as a result.
Three Types of Product Defects
A manufacturer or seller can potentially be deemed liable for a product defect if it meets one of three categories. First, there could be a design defect in the product that makes it inherently unsafe. Second, a manufacturing defect could have occurred during assembly that made a normally reliable product become dangerous. Finally, there is also such a thing as a marketing defect in which a product is marketed with improper labeling, insufficient instructions, and inadequate safety warnings.
IKEA in Hot Water
One reputable brand recently struggling with product liability problems based on design defect is IKEA, the beloved furniture store. IKEA was forced to recall 30 million dressers and chests last year because they posed serious risk of injury and death to users. Tragically, the recall only occurred because seven children died when their dressers tipped over onto them. Three of these families participated in a lawsuit against IKEA for the deaths of their children, and IKEA agreed to a $50 million settlement as compensation.
Medical Wipes Company Hit For Liability
A New Jersey company Smith & Nephew that produces medical wipes also found itself in and out of court after recalling their medical wipes for not being properly sterilized in 2011. Despite the recall, Smith & Nephew could still be held accountable for causing injuries to consumers who used the wipes prior to the recall.
Product liability is a tricky arena for consumers who want to stand up to companies who have put them in danger. Experienced attorneys like the team at the Law Office of Joseph P. Bartek in Bellingham, Washington know how to handle such cases to earn consumers the most compensation possible.