If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, you may have the right to recover compensation. The following is a description of the three types of products liability suits you may file under Missouri law.
If a product is improperly designed, it can be inherently dangerous even when used as intended. A design defect is a defect in the product itself, which is present even when it is manufactured exactly according to specifications. For example, a line of toys with small pieces of plastic that can easily detach and end up in a child’s mouth, or a vehicle designed with a high center of gravity that makes them unreasonably dangerous and likely to roll over under various conditions.
In some ways, a design defect lawsuit can be easier to prove because you will likely have access to a defective product even if the one that injured you was destroyed. However, defendants (at-fault parties) to design defect lawsuits will likely fight hard against your claim since if you win, the entire product line may have to be recalled for a redesign.
A manufacturing defect occurs when something goes wrong with how a product was made or became contaminated during manufacturing. The defect might only affect the single product that caused you injury, or it might be that an entire batch of products is defective. Since manufacturing defect cases focus on the specific product rather than its design, the company’s quality control policies are often evaluated. In other words, if the product sold should not have passed inspection, you may be able to recover compensation for the harm it caused. Examples of manufacturing defects might be tire linings that cause blow-outs at high speeds or bags of salad contaminated with listeria.
A failure-to-warn lawsuit does not involve a product that is defective itself. This issue is with the labeling/instructions that accompany a product or lack thereof. A product can be well-designed and correctly manufactured, but using it is dangerous in some way that is not obvious to consumers. Manufacturers are not expected to warn of every risk but must warn users of the dangers inherent in the product, as well as consequences of predictable misuse of the product. An example of a failure-to-warn claim can be a medication that does not list possible side effects or substances it should not be combined with.
Defective product victims have five years from the date of their injury to pursue a lawsuit in Missouri. Although this period is twice as long as many other states, the longer you wait, the more evidence will disappear and witnesses’ memories will fade. No matter the type, product liability claims are complex and require specific knowledge of the laws applicable to your case. If you think that you may have a defective product case, schedule a free consultation with an experienced St. Louis Product Liability Lawyer today.