When you buy a product at a retail or wholesale outlet, you expect that the manufacturer has conducted reasonable testing to ensure that the product does not pose an unreasonable risk of injury. Unfortunately, with the intense competition to be the first to market, many products are made available to consumers without a clear understanding of the dangers associated with them. When you have been hurt while using a product or because of exposure to a product, you may have a right to file suit to recover compensation for any losses sustained. Here are the different legal theories under which you can file a product liability claim.
A claim based on negligent design alleges that, when the company conceived of the product, designers did not reasonably consider the potential safety risks the design would pose. Under such a claim, the quality of the manufacturing is irrelevant. This theory holds that, regardless of how well the product was made, its design was flawed, which should have been recognized by a reasonable evaluation of the product. For example, if you market a utility knife that does not retract, it’s probably reasonable to expect that the design would cause a lot of people to put the knife in their pockets and sustain injury as a result.
This theory of product liability alleges some carelessness or deficiency in the manufacturing process. Whether or not the product was carelessly designed is unimportant. An allegation of negligent manufacture may involve the use of substandard materials, carelessness in the actual assembly of the product, or a lack of supervision to ensure that the product was safely constructed.
An allegation of negligent marketing of a product contends that the seller/manufacturer did not adequately warn the potential user of known risks associated with the use of the product. It typically also extends to any uses that should reasonably have been expected, as well as any known dangers that the marketer should have been reasonably aware of.