What are the three types of product defects that incur product liability?

Product liability can arise from three main types of defects: design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects (also known as failure-to-warn defects). These defects can make a product unreasonably dangerous, leading to injuries or harm to consumers. Here’s an overview of each type:

  1. Design Defects:

    • Design defects occur when there is an inherent flaw in the product’s design that makes it dangerous, even when manufactured according to specifications. The flaw exists before the product is even made, and it affects every unit of the product.
  2. Manufacturing Defects:

    • Manufacturing defects occur during the production process when a mistake or error is made in manufacturing, causing the product to deviate from its intended design. Unlike design defects, manufacturing defects typically affect only a limited number of units within a product line.
  3. Marketing Defects (Failure-to-Warn Defects):

    • Marketing defects, or failure-to-warn defects, involve inadequate instructions or warnings about the product’s proper use and potential risks. Even if a product is well-designed and correctly manufactured, it may still be considered defective if it lacks sufficient warnings or instructions that could help consumers avoid foreseeable dangers.

In product liability cases, the plaintiff (injured party) generally needs to prove that one or more of these defects existed and directly caused their injuries. Manufacturers, distributors, and sellers can be held liable if they are found to be responsible for any of these defects, depending on the circumstances of the case.

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