It is frustrating to know that, despite the responsibility of all those connected in the chain of product distribution (such as manufacturers, suppliers and retailers) to provide customers only with safe and functional products plus the existence of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, which is tasked to ensure product safety, defective products still find their way in stores and get sold to unsuspecting consumers, many of whom suffer injuries through such products’ use.
Due to the harm suffered by consumers thousands of lawsuits against manufacturers and/or distributors get filed in courts all across the US every year. According to attorney Ali Mokaram from The Lopez Law Group, these lawsuits may be based on any of the following issues:
- Manufacturing error: manufacturing plants have quality assurance personnel whose job is to make sure that every product comply with company and industry standards. However, there are instances when manufacturing accidents occur, so that the outcome either deviates from the actual design intended by the manufacturer or some properties of the good produced end up different compared to others in the same line. While the defect may, indeed, harm the user, during a tort or personal injury lawsuit, proving that the defect actually caused the injury is still required of the victim.
- Flawed design: instead of just a certain part being defective, an error in design will include the whole line of products which are actually made correctly but with harmful flaws (a classic example of this is the US Transport authorities’ very recent recall of 2.12 million vehicles from some of the world’s biggest car makers due to faulty airbags that can accidentally deploy even while the car is running.)
- Inadequate warning or misleading product label: manufacturers are required (by law) to make sure that their product’s label clearly spells out: any danger associated with product’s use; product use instructions; and, the correct ingredients of the product. The product, through its label, should neither make any claim that has not been proven scientifically nor should it inaccurately identify the product’s real contents (like stating evaporated cane juice instead of refined white sugar in order to entice millions of consumers suffering from type II diabetes, coronary artery disease, hypertension, or obesity).
While it is true that some accidents are unavoidable, many more are due to acts of negligence and, therefore, totally preventable. After having established negligence as the cause of personal injury, the liable party, under the law, is obliged to compensate the victim for all present and future damages resulting from the injury.