New York Product Liability Actions
Updated: Mar 2
Generally, there are three types of product liability action: (1) a product may be defective because of a design defect; (2) a product may be defective because of a manufacturing defect; or (3) a product may be defective because the of manufacturer's failure to warn.
1. Design Defect
A defectively designed product means that when it leaves the seller's hand, it is not in a reasonable state for the intended use and has a utility that is not greater than the risk inherent in its introduction to the stream of commerce. In such cases, the jury must decide whether the product is reasonably safe after considering all the evidence and weighing its risks against its utility and cost.
2. Manufacturing Defects
Manufacturing defects are not like design defects. They usually only affect a small number of items and not all products in a product line. These are parts of the product that the manufacturer did not intend or design. They are caused by deviations from the intended design of products, regardless of how careful the manufacturer was designing the product. Manufacturing defects occur during the product construction phase.
Quality assurance and manufacturing controls generally limit the number of defective products shipped to consumers. Sometimes, however, a poorly manufactured product can bypass the quality assurance controls to ensure that it is safe. Low-quality materials and poor craftsmanship when assembling components for the final product are two of the most common defects. The manufacturer can often correct the manufacturing defect by using better quality materials and more skilled workers. The problem is likely a design defect and not a manufacturing defect if it continues to cause injury, regardless of how well the product was assembled.
A manufacturing defect is, for example, a defective mechanism that causes a stationary bike to collapse mid-use or A contaminated bottle of medicine that causes illness.
3. Failure to Warn
A product manufacturer who fails to inform consumers about the proper use of their product can be held liable under a failure to warn action. The manufacturer must inform customers how to use their products. Customers must be advised to avoid any potential dangers from improperly using an item. If the manufacturer fails to warn customers about the proper use of their product, they could be held responsible for any accidents.
The law on strict products liability in New York is that a manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, or retailer who sells a product in a defective condition is liable for injury resulting from the product's use.
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Disclaimer: Although I am a lawyer by profession, I am not YOUR lawyer. This article is for informational and educational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not establish any kind of attorney-client relationship with me. I am not liable or responsible for any damages resulting from or related to your use of this information.