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Manufacturing and Design Defects

Products liability is an area of law that covers personal injuries and damage caused by defective products. A defective product is a product that causes injury or harm because there is a flaw in the product. Sometimes the design of the product makes it defective. Sometimes flaws in the manufacturing process cause a product to be defective.

Design Defects


Designing a product is a complex process. Design begins with an idea, and includes the size, shape and material for making the idea into a product. A design defect is an inherent flaw in the design of the product itself. For example, if a manufacturer designed a blade guard for a table saw and the guard did not adequately protect the user of the saw, it might be considered a design defect. If the design defect causes personal injury or property damage, the manufacturer could be liable for damages.

Manufacturing Defects


Manufacturing is the process of using raw materials, parts or components to make a finished product. Any significant deviation from the design specifications is considered a manufacturing defect. Manufacturing defects including missing parts, inferior materials and improper construction. If the manufacturing defect causes personal injury or property damage, the manufacturer could be held responsible.

Manufacturer’s Standard of Care


A manufacturer has a duty to use reasonable care in its design and manufacturing processes. It also must inspect and test its products to make sure they are not dangerous. If the design of the product is flawed, the manufacturer may be liable for any injuries to consumers who use the product. If the manufacturer fails to perform required testing or performs such testing inadequately, it may be liable for any injuries that result when a consumer uses the product. If the manufacturer fails to properly inspect its products, it could also be liable for any injury or damage that results from the use of the product.

Copyright 2011 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.