When a consumer decides to purchase a product at a retail establishment, they will typically assume that the product is safe for them to use. However, every year, a staggering number of people end up injured and some even die because of product defects.
Occasionally, products fail because people misuse them or push them past a breaking point. Consumers hurt by the intentional misuse of a product may not have many options for covering the costs caused by the failure of the product. However, there are also many cases in which a product fails when used as intended and may cause serious injury or major property damage as a result. Examples include products with faulty wiring that turn on or overheat and then cause a house fire. In some of these cases, consumers may be able to take legal action. Manufacturers often contribute to major product failures through some form of business negligence. These are the two types of negligence that frequently lead to product defects and consumer claims against businesses.
Negligent design practices
Simply coming up with a concept for a product or conceptualizing a way to modernize or change an existing product isn’t enough to safely release such a design for public consumption. Proper testing will be of the utmost importance. From exploring ways in which consumers might misuse products to testing products rigorously for circumstances that might make them fail, there are many ways for businesses to prevent catastrophic product failure during the design stage.
Negligence during production
Even a well-designed product can fail if there are issues with the manufacturing process. Businesses sometimes increase the likelihood of releasing defective or poorly manufactured products to the public with improper manufacturing practices. Perhaps the company fails to engage in rigorous quality control testing of finished products or of the raw materials used to manufacture their products. They might also cut corners with employee training or machinery maintenance, which could lead to entire production batches leaving a manufacturing facility in unsafe condition.
Consumers who suffer financial losses because of defective products sometimes have the right to take legal action against manufacturers. Civil lawsuits can result in insurance payouts and other compensation for those directly affected by dangerous or defective products. Connecting someone’s injuries and financial losses to a defective product may be the first step toward holding a company accountable for endangering consumers either due to negligence or – in some situations – strict liability.