Product Defect | A manufacturer, distributor, or retailer is liable if a defect in the manufacture or design of its product causes injury while the product is being used in a reasonably foreseeable way. Soule v. GM Corp. (1994) 8 Cal.4th 548, 560 | #KnowYourInjuryRights | Ordaz Law, APC | (619) 550-3617.
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Product Defect | Who is Liable?
Beyond manufacturers, anyone identifiable as ‘an integral part of the overall producing and marketing enterprise’ is subject to liability for a product defect. Arriaga v. Citi Capital Commercial Corp. (2008) 167 Cal.App.4th 1527, 1534.
Example Scenario 1: Joe buys a glass table at Tables Unlimited in Santee, California. The table was manufactured in China and distributed by ACME Tables out of Sacramento. In a suit alleging a product defect in the glass table, a lawsuit would be filed by my office, in San Diego County, naming the Sacramento distributor and Santee retail shop as defendants.
Product Defect | Liability
Product Defect | Manufacturing Defects
A product contains a manufacturing defect when it differs from the manufacturer’s intended result (or from other identical units of the same production line). CACI 1202. Strict Liability—“Manufacturing Defect” Explained. In other words, a manufacturing defect occurs when an item is manufactured in a substandard condition. Gonzalez v. Autoliv ASP, Inc. (2007) 154 Cal.App.4th 780, 792. Learn More
Product Defect | Design Defects
There are three theories of liability (1. Consumer Expectation Test; 2. Risk Benefit Analysis; and, 3. Failure to Warn) under which a manufacturer (distributor, retailer, etc.) may be held strictly liable for injuries (or death) caused by a design defect:
The rationale of the consumer expectations test is that the purposes, behaviors, and dangers of certain products are commonly understood by those who ordinarily use them. Therefore, in some cases, ordinary knowledge of the product’s characteristics may permit an inference that the product did not perform as safely as it should. Saller v. Crown Cork & Seal Co., Inc. (2010) 187 Cal.App.4th 1220, 1232.
Under the risk-benefit test, the plaintiff may establish the product is defective by showing that its design caused their injury and the defendant then fails to establish that on balance the benefits of the challenged design outweigh the risk of danger inherent in such design. Saller at 1233.
Manufacturers have a duty to warn consumers about the hazards inherent in their products. The purpose of requiring adequate warnings is to inform consumers about a product’s hazards and faults of which they are unaware, so that the consumer may then either refrain from using the product altogether or avoid the danger by careful use. Taylor v. Elliott Turbomachinery Co., Inc. (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 564, 577.
Product Defect | Strict Liability
A defendant is strictly liable when an article they place on the market, knowing that it is to be used without inspection for defects, proves to have a defect that causes injury. The purpose of such liability is to insure that the costs of injuries resulting from defective products are borne by the manufacturers that put such products on the market rather than by the injured persons who are powerless to protect themselves. Greenman v. Yuba Power Products, Inc. (1963) 59 Cal.2d 57, 62–63.
Ordaz Law, APC | Product Defect
Juan J. Ordaz Jr. provides candid, hardworking and personal legal representation to individuals seeking a product defect lawyer in San Diego County. We help victims suffering from a variety of injuries who have sustained their injuries through the use of different consumer products that have been placed into the “stream of commerce” by manufacturers, distributors and retailers.
Call (619) 550-3617 today so that we may schedule your free and discreet consultation with a premier San Diego product defect lawyer.
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Blog: Personal Injury