In product liability law, distributors, manufacturers, retailers, and suppliers of consumer products are held liable for injuries caused by their products.
The term “product” is broadly defined. Legally, “product” generally refers to items that can be considered tangible personal property, like a motor vehicle, a child’s toy, a piece of exercise equipment, or some other manufactured item.
At the Austin-based Stewart Law Firm, we have years of experience with personal injury claims, and product liability falls under personal injury claims. To understand how it works, what a product liability claim is, and your rights in this situation, continue reading.
Product Liability Claims in Texas
As stated previously, product liability is when manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, and others who make products available to the public are held responsible for the injuries those products cause.
There are three major categories of product liability lawsuits:
- Manufacturing defects
- Design defects
- Failure to warn (or marketing defects)
1. Manufacturing Defects
A manufacturing defect involves problems during manufacturing a specific item — resulting in poor quality and dangerous pieces of merchandise.
Manufacturing defects are one of the rarest forms of product liability to ensure the best products go out to the marketplace. However, a manufacturing defect means that it does not matter how careful the manufacturer was when designing products, choosing materials, creating the assembly line, and issuing quality assurance guidelines.
If a poorly manufactured product left the factory and caused injury when used for any of its intended purposes due to manufacturing defects.
In that case, the manufacturer has to pay for any injuries.
2. Design Defects
A design defect happens during the design of a product that is useless or dangerous. A design defect occurs when a product was posed by a foreseeable risk when the product was manufactured as intended and used for its intended purposes.
In order to prove your injury occurred due to a design defect, you will have to show that the risk could have been reduced or avoided by the adoption of a reasonable alternative design, which was:
- Feasible: the manufacturer could produce it
- Economically viable: it would not cost too much to make the product with the modification
- The product would still perform the function for which it was created
3. Marketing Defects
A marketing defect relates to poor product labeling, resulting in consumer dangers and a lack of warnings about those dangers.
A manufacturer has two responsibilities when creating warning labels and instructions:
- The manufacturer is required to warn users of hidden dangers that may be present in a product
- The manufacturer must instruct users how to use a product to avoid any risks and use the product safely
If these responsibilities are not met and an injury occurs, the victim should get in touch with an experienced Austin attorney about a product liability case.
Responsibility in Texas product liability cases
It is essential to realize that the above categories do not count as legal claims on their own; instead, they are legal theories. To pursue financial restitution regarding one of the above types of lawsuits, the claim must be based on:
- breach of warranty
- strict liability
- different consumer protection laws
If you’ve been injured by a product and think you have a claim, you may be able to win your case with the aid of an experienced product liability attorney.
Contact an Austin Attorney for Help With a Product Liability Claim
At the Stewart Law Firm, we handle all kinds of product liability lawsuits, from defective and dangerous children’s toys to defective and dangerous automobiles.
As many Texans know, automotive defects have been particularly prevalent in the news in recent years, but that does not mean these are the only harmful and dangerous products.
Indeed, numerous defects present themselves in nearly all kinds of products. Our Austin-based personal injury attorneys have years of experience dealing with product liability claims. If you believe that you have a product liability claim, contact us to discuss your case.