When a company defectively manufactures a product and that defect results in an injury, the manufacturer may be held liable for any damages. Unfortunately for consumers, it may be difficult to tell if a product is defective at the time of purchase. Under Colorado product defect laws, manufacturers are strictly liable for manufacturing defects that cause harm.
If you are injured using a product as intended, a product defect may be to blame. The attorneys at accidentdenver.com will be able to investigate your case, have an expert analyze the product, identify the parties responsible, and work to get you the maximum compensation after a product defect injury accident. Contact us today for a free consultation.
What is a Manufacturing Defects Claim?
A manufacturing defect is a type of product liability claim. The other primary types of product liability defects are failure to warn defects and design defects.
A manufacturing defect involves a product where defects developed during the manufacturing process. This could involve a lack of quality control, producing drugs in a non-sterile environment, or using substandard materials. A manufacturing defect could introduce dangerous elements that put the user at risk or harm or injury.
When a product is defective and that defect caused an injury, the manufacturer may be strictly liable for the accident. The injury victim may be able to seek compensation from the manufacturer for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
Types of Manufacturers Defects in Colorado
Driving down the road when the vehicle's tread suddenly comes off may cause a serious accident. The driver may have no idea why the tires fell apart or who is to blame for the defective airbag. Unfortunately, this type of accident has happened to drivers in Colorado and across the country. This type of accident may be an example of a defectively manufactured product.
Product defects can occur in any type of product, from cars to phones to medication. Consumers trust that the manufacturers produce these products in a way that the product will be safe as intended. Some types of manufacturers defects that may result in an injury or accident include:
- Contaminated foods,
- Defective drugs or medication,
- Exploding batteries,
- Medical device defect,
- Tire defects,
- Brake defect accidents,
- Vehicle acceleration defects,
- Seat belt defects,
- Defective children's toys,
- Defective household appliances,
- Child seat defects,
- High chair defects,
- Crib defects,
- Cleaning product defects, and
- Vehicle cruise control defects.
Food Safety and Manufacturing Defects
In 2008 and 2009, a number of people in Colorado and across the country got sick after eating peanut butter. After an FDA investigation and criminal case, it came to light the Peanut Corporation of America was creating false certificates of safety analysis, shipping peanut butter that tested positive for Salmonella, and shipping products that were never tested. In the end, more than 700 people were sickened, including 18 in Colorado, and nine deaths were linked to the bacteria found in peanut butter.
Exploding Phones and Manufacturing
In 2016, a number of Samsung Galaxy Note smartphones were reportedly overheating and catching fire. This caused a number of burn injuries to consumers. After multiple recalls, the defective phone fires may have been caused by batteries not properly fitting the cases, lack of quality control, missing insulation tape, sharp edge protrusions of the replacement batteries, rushed processing during the replacement process.
Tire Tread and Manufacturing Defects
When tire tread separates from the rest of the tire, it can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle, increasing the risk of an accident. In 2017, over 40,000 tires were recalled because of a manufacturing defect that could cause tire tread separation. An investigation found that the defect may have been related to using the incorrect rubber compound that resulted in poor adhesion of the rubber to the belt wires.
Children's Toys and Manufacturing Defects
Children can be especially susceptible to product defects, including manufacturing and design defects in children's toys and safety equipment. In 2007, Mattel toys recalled millions of products because the products were covered with paint that contained lead. Lead is toxic if ingested by young people and can cause adverse health effects, including nervous system problems. The recall included some of the most popular children's character brands, including Thomas & Friends, Barbie, Sesame Street, and Dora the Explorer. The problem was traced back to Chinese manufacturing that used leaded paint in the production of the toys.
Who is Responsible for a Defectively Manufactured Product?
Design, manufacture, and distribution of goods can be a complex process. If a consumer was injured by a defective product, the consumer may have no idea who was responsible for the defect or where the defect occurred. However, Colorado's strict liability for product defects leaves the burden up to the manufacturer. To recover in a strict product liability claim, the plaintiff generally has to show:
- The defendant was a manufacturer, seller, or distributor of the product;
- The product was defective at the time it was sold or left the defendant's control;
- The plaintiff used the product in a reasonably foreseeable way;
- The plaintiff suffered injuries, damages, or losses; and
- The defective product was a cause of the plaintiff's damages.
The “manufacturer” includes more than just the company or individual that manufactured the product. The manufacturer in a product liability claim can include:
- A person or entity who designs, assembles, makes, produces, constructs, or otherwise prepares a product.
- A seller who has knowledge of a defect in a product.
- A seller who creates and furnishes a manufacturer with specifications for a product that is related to the alleged defect.
- A seller who exercises some significant control over all or a portion of the manufacturing process or who alters or modifies a product in any significant manner before it is sold to the ultimate user or consumer.
- A seller who placed a private label on the product and did not disclose who the actual manufacturer is.
Damages in a Product Defect Claim
The damages available to consumers in a manufacturer's defect claim depend on the injuries. If the defective product caused no injury, the consumer may be able to get a refund, repair of the defective product, or replacement. However, if someone is injured, then the injury victim may be able to file a product liability lawsuit based on the manufacturing defect.
When a product defect accident causes injury, the victim may require medical treatment and have to take days off of work. The manufacturer responsible for the defect should be held liable for these damages. Damages in a product defect claim may include:
- Medical bills,
- Lost wages,
- Property damage,
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of earning potential,
- Future medical care, and
- Loss of consortium.
Fatal Manufacturing Defects
Some product defects cause fatal accidents. In a wrongful death claim, family members may be able to file a lawsuit against negligent parties for causing the death of another. Under Colorado Revised Statute § 13-21-202, a wrongful death claim can provide compensation for damages or losses to the family, including financial costs of the funeral, loss of income by the deceased, and non-economic damages like loss of support.
Denver Product Defect Accident Lawyers
The attorneys at accidentdenver.com have successfully represented their clients and families in Colorado who were injured in an accident due to a defective product. Our attorneys understand how these businesses operate to avoid blame and will fight to get the maximum compensation available for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.