What Are the Main Types of Product Liability Claims?
Product liability claims arise when consumers sue product manufacturers, distributors or retailers alleging some product defect caused them harm. Product liability claims can involve a single plaintiff or thousands banded together in a class action. The exposure to businesses is therefore great, with a potential for damages that can easily range into the tens of millions, especially when punitive damages are pursued, along with reputational harm that can be every bit as damaging as a large monetary judgment.
Product liability claims generally fall into one of three different categories: design defects, manufacturing defects, and failure to warn or marketing defects. Below, we take each type of claim in turn, explaining what they involve and providing examples. Finally, we provide some tips for businesses to avoid product liability claims or address them if they do arise.
If you are a business owner or their insurer in New York needing skilled and knowledgeable advice and representation with a product liability claim, contact the Law Offices of Richard A. Fogel to speak with an experienced and successful New York product liability defense lawyer.
Design defects are inherent flaws in a product’s design that make it unsafe for its intended use. These defects are not the result of a manufacturing error; rather, the product’s design is inherently dangerous, regardless of how well it is made. In New York, a product may be considered defectively designed if it fails to perform as safely as an ordinary consumer would expect when used in an intended or reasonably foreseeable manner.
Example: A children’s toy designed with small, detachable parts that could easily be swallowed, posing a choking hazard.
Manufacturing defects occur during the production or assembly of a product. These defects typically affect only a portion of the product units and are not indicative of the overall product line. In these cases, the product deviates from its intended design, making it dangerous or defective.
Example: A batch of electric kettles with faulty wiring that could lead to overheating and potential fire hazards.
Failure to Warn (Marketing Defects)
Marketing defects, also known as failure to warn, involve a product that is potentially dangerous in some way that is not obvious to the user or that requires the user to exercise special precautions or diligence when using it. Manufacturers and distributors have a duty to provide adequate warnings and instructions about their products’ proper use.
Example: A powerful cleaning chemical sold without adequate instructions for safe use or warnings about its corrosive nature and the necessity for wearing gloves or eye protection or in areas with adequate ventilation.
Addressing Product Liability Claims in New York
In New York, product liability claims are a complex field involving various legal theories and statutes, including doctrines such as strict liability, strict product liability, negligence, and different types of breach of warranty claims. The Law Offices of Richard A. Fogel have extensive experience in navigating these complexities, offering robust defense strategies for clients facing such claims. With a Master’s degree in Science, attorney Richard Fogel is comfortable assessing the technical and scientific aspects of product defect claims which are often crucial to a strong and successful defense.
Preventive Measures for Businesses
Comprehensive Product Testing: Ensuring products undergo thorough testing can help identify and rectify potential design flaws.
Quality Control in Manufacturing: Regular quality checks during the manufacturing process can reduce the risk of manufacturing defects.
Clear and Detailed Warnings and Instructions: Providing comprehensive usage instructions and warnings can help mitigate marketing defect claims.
Contact The Law Offices Of Richard A. Fogel for Product Liability Defense In New York
Understanding the types of product liability claims is vital for businesses to protect themselves from legal challenges and for consumers to recognize their rights. The Law Offices of Richard A. Fogel are committed to providing expert legal defense in product liability cases, ensuring that businesses in New York navigate these challenges with professional guidance and support.
For more information on defending against product liability claims, or if you need legal assistance in this area, do not hesitate to contact the New York Law Offices of Richard A. Fogel. We are here to offer our expertise and support in managing and defending against these complex legal issues. Call 516-721-7161 for a consultation.