What Do You Mean This Product is “Defective”?

by Monty Yolles on November 29, 2012

What does it mean when a product is “defective”?

Sometimes clients wonder what lawyers really mean when we say a product is “defective.”  Most people think a product is defective if it does not function the way it’s supposed to.  In legal terminology, the word “defective” can include the same non-functioning standard, but in a defective product scenario, “defective” generally refers to a product that was manufactured in such a way as to pose an unreasonable risk of harm to the people it was intended for.

Whether a product is unreasonably dangerous is a matter of judgment.  Some products are inherently dangerous by their very nature, such as lawnmowers and chain saws.  That does not make them unreasonably dangerous.  A properly functioning lawnmower is a dangerous instrument, but not necessarily unreasonably dangerous.

On the other hand, if the lawnmower had a cooling fan that could overheat and ignite, causing a fire, then the lawnmower could be considered defective because it poses an unreasonable risk of harm to its user.  It still cuts grass, so it functions as it was intended, but nonetheless, it is defective due to the fire hazard.

Another area of potential defects is product design.  If the handle on a push lawnmower was designed to be so short or upright that the person walking behind the lawnmower would be likely to get his foot caught under the lawnmower during normal use, then the lawnmower could be considered defective due to a design defect that poses an unreasonable risk of harm to the intended user.

One way manufacturers and retailers attempt to make inherently dangerous products less dangerous is by providing consumer warnings.  You have probably seen such warnings on many products you use regularly around your home.  However, following all of a manufacturer’s warnings and recommendations may not prevent all accidents, and may not protect a manufacturer from liability if you are injured when using a product.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a product that may be defective, contact us to discuss your case and help you determine your next steps.

At The Yolles Legal Group, we specialize in restoring people’s lives after an accident. We will fight for your rights and seek monetary damages if you were injured due to another person or company’s negligence.  Monty Yolles, founder of THE YOLLES LEGAL GROUP, is an experienced Marylandpersonal injury attorney who can review your case and help you navigate the legal system on your road to recovery.  Call Monty Yolles today at (301)670-0443 to discuss your case, or send an email inquiry to monty@yolleslaw.com.

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