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Proving a product is defective

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When Tennessee consumers buy products from manufacturers and distributors, they have reason to expect those products to be safe. When those products manifest defects that lead to damages, the companies behind those products may be liable. As Tennessee product liability lawyers are aware, product liability law primarily comes from common law, as well as the Uniform Commercial Code.

Two-part process

In order for consumers to receive compensation for damages from a defective product, they must prove that the product was, in fact, defective. In general terms, this is a two-part process. First, it must be shown that the product is defective. Second, the defect in the product must be shown to have caused an injury with which damages are associated.

An important qualifier is that product liability offenses are considered strict liability offenses. This means that liability for a product defect does not depend on how careful the manufacturer and other companies along the supply chain were in preparing the product for consumption. Tennessee product liability lawyers would be able to explain that there are three general types of product defects for which companies could found liable and these are:

  • Defective manufacture
  • Defective design
  • Defective marketing

Understanding the basics of these three types of product defects may be helpful for those who have been injured by a product.

Defective manufacture

Defective manufacture applies to products whose defect is inconsistent with its design. For example, if a pharmaceutical product causes harm because of an ingredient that was inadvertently added, the company would be liable on the basis of defective manufacture.

Defective design

Defective design, on the other hand, applies in cases where a product that was manufactured as per its design leads to injury. For example, if a children's product was built exactly as designed, but breaks and causes injury by no fault of the child, then the product liability relates to defective design. As Tennessee product liability lawyers may be aware, these cases can be more problematic for companies. This is because every consumer of a defectively designed product is theoretically vulnerable to an injury, which could result in a class action lawsuit.

Defective marketing

Finally, if an injury to consumers is due to inadequate warnings or instructions, the issue is defective marketing. An example of defective marketing might be omitting instructions about how to safely handle a paint product. A key qualifier in these cases is that what the consumer needed to know should not have been obvious.

Companies whose defective products injure consumers are financially motivated to avoid or minimize any compensation due to their liability. For this reason, Tennessee consumers who have been injured because of a product defect may wish to consult with an attorney.

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