Denver Product Liability Lawyers
When you think about it, consumer products are everywhere; reach into your pocket and we can almost guarantee you’re holding onto one right now. From toys and electronics to medicine and cars, most of us are surrounded by household items and everyday appliances designed to make life easier. Think of every advertisement you’ve ever seen on TV: 60% (at a conservative guess) are trying to sell you a consumer product. Ads in the newspaper, popups on your computer, sponsored posts on social media: nearly all trying to get you to purchase a product to have on your person, or in your home.
When you bring these items into your home, the last thing you probably think about is the possibility of serious injury or death due to a mishap, or defect inherent in the product itself. Rightfully so, you expect the products you buy to function safely – and most do for many uses upwards to many years. When consumer products are defective, however, people get hurt and they can get hurt badly. Concussions, lacerations, and burns are just a few possible outcomes due to defects in consumer products we purchase that have fallen prey to negligence along the line. In the most tragic cases, a dangerous product takes lives before consumers become aware of a defect, all in the matter of an instant. How can you expect a product to fail so conclusively and succinctly? It is nearly impossible to anticipate an error about to occur.
The Duties of Product Designers, Manufacturers, and Sellers
Corporations and manufacturers that design, produce, market, and sell consumer products have a responsibility to put only safe and secure products into the marketplace to avoid harming consumers and being slapped with multiple product liability lawsuits. They must thoroughly test the goods they produce to ensure they will perform without incident, or failure, in everyday regular usage. Unfortunately, some companies put a premium on profits instead of safety. They cut corners on testing or rush products to production — a recipe for design flaws. When they hear about injuries, they keep it a secret or delay issuing a life-saving recall, which almost always turns into a public relations nightmare later, but only after far too many customers have been injured by their product. Conversely, some organizations dedicate countless hours to safety checks and protocols, but there is an inherent design flaw that is overlooked and consumers are the ones to discover it – obviously far too late for the company to recall the product to protect their consumers, or for customers to heed warning and avoid usage.
Corporations don’t have a duty to make their products completely accident-proof. After all, accidents happen and sometimes they’re just unfortunate events. Many consumers use products in ways they were never intended, or in extreme cases with severe and excessive force that products were not designed to withstand. In additional cases, accidents happen because a product is unreasonably dangerous or is manufactured with a concealed defect. The law imposes several obligations on companies that produce consumer goods. They must design and manufacture safe products; they must also provide adequate warnings of potential dangers associated with a product’s intended use.
Product designers have a duty to create safe products. Under this theory of product liability, a product is unreasonably dangerous when it could have been designed a different way without changing its fundamental purpose and to avoid resulting in an injury of the consumer. When companies breach the duty of safe design, every unit produced from that specific design is affected and at a minimum, should be recalled before any (further) injuries occurs.
Manufacturing defects are different from design flaws; the blame is shifted away from the designer and towards the machinery and/or workers on the line creating the product. When manufacturing defects occur, they are often confined to just a batch of items within an entire product line and not the product overall. Although the design might be sound in total, some unforeseen flaw in the production process results in defects within a particular factory run and as in the case of product defects, the consumer is likely the one to sadly discover this error. A minor recall in this event saves face for the organization and mitigates the chances of anyone who owns the product being hurt by it.
Failure to Warn
Manufacturers also have a duty to provide consumers with adequate instructions and warnings to avoid misuse and inevitable injury, ideally ones that are not permanent. When companies conceal dangers in the hopes of pushing a product to market to drive sales and profit, people get hurt and that rush for profit is offset and negated by lawsuits. Improper care to design and manufacture products and/or warn customers of the dangers will almost always result in a heft lawsuit. An appliance or consumer product should also be designed to function safely in the event of human error, and companies must consider human error before they put a product in the stream of commerce. In cases where user error contributes to an injury, a product may be still be defective if it was not labeled with sufficient instructions, comprehensive warnings, or necessary precautions. However, improper use of the product shifts responsibility to the consumer.
Helping Injured Consumers Receive Just Compensation
At the Klibaner Law Firm, we help people receive fair compensation for injuries caused by defective products to cover medical expenses and wages lost due to inability to work. By bringing a case, you could also help protect other consumers from the dangers of a defective product by sparking a recall. Your actions could force manufacturers to focus on product safety, which should be their highest priority, rather than their bottom line. Call us today at 303-863-1445 to discuss your case.