Some products are inherently dangerous. No matter the design, that risk still exists. However, manufacturers have a responsibility to try to create safe designs that eliminate these risks and make the odds of injury as close to zero as possible.
As you can imagine, this often means companies and injured consumers look at cases very differently. A company may claim they did all they could to make a dangerous product -- like a chainsaw -- as safe as possible, while the consumer will claim they didn't do nearly enough. How do you get to the bottom of it?
A good place to start is by considering the following key points. These often have to be shown in court in order for the company to be liable.
- The proposed changes had to be economically feasible. Yes, it may have cost the company more, but the cost alone wouldn't have been prohibitive.
- The changes had to be realistically feasible. The company, in other words, was able to make the changes and produce a safer product, but just neglected to do so through an oversight or willfully, putting consumers at risk.
- The changes could not have interfered with the intended purpose of the product. For example, a chainsaw would obviously be safer with a guard wrapping around the entire chain, but that would make it impossible to use. Some products are simply dangerous, and alterations need to be realistic to reduce that danger. There are cases where all risks can't be eliminated while still producing a useful product.
Have you been injured by a product that was poorly designed? If so, you need to know all of the legal rights that you have.
Source: FindLaw, "Defects in Design," accessed Oct. 30, 2017