Common Types of Defective Products

By Peter DePaolis

Product Defects Leading To Injury


product bar codeA product defect is any design flaw, manufacturing error or labeling issue that makes a product unsafe to use. Any product, from your hair dryer to your food to your car, can be defective and cause serious personal injuries. You may not realize just how many hundreds of products you use every day until you get sick or are injured by a defective appliance, device or other manufactured item or material. Product liability lawsuits not only help ensure that victims injured by manufacturing and design defects do not have to struggle, but can also help prevent others from suffering due to the same type of negligence in the future. Some of the most common product defects are listed below.

The lawyers at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P. have spent nearly 40 years successfully helping injury victims and their families in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. Our law firm has faced off against large corporations, small businesses, insurance companies and experienced legal teams at the negotiating table and in the courtroom, securing many favorable verdicts and settlements in cases involving product defects. As a result, we can generally help victims and their families no matter what type of defective product led to their suffering.

Common Types of Defectively Designed, Marketed and Manufactured Products

The number of potentially defective products includes all products on the market. Even a poorly designed coffee mug could potentially cause injuries. However, some kinds of products are more commonly involved in product liability lawsuits than others. These frequently defective products include:

  • Car Defects – Defective auto parts, such as brake, ignition switch, seatbelt, emissions system, tire or airbag defects can cause serious personal injuries if it leads to an auto accident. Sometimes, the entire design of the vehicle is defective, such as SUVs that are top heavy, making them prone to rollover accidents.
  • Children’s Products – Youngsters are less likely to be able to help themselves if they are injured by a poorly labeled or defective children’s product. Car seats, bedding and many children’s toys have been the focus of product liability lawsuits in the past.
  • Medical Devices – Medical devices are supposed to improve a patient’s health, but when they are designed or manufactured with defects, they can cause serious or even fatal injuries. Improperly prepared or badly labeled medication as well as faulty implants or surgical tools all count as defective medical devices and can all cause serious injuries or even wrongful death – and liable parties should be held accountable.
  • Household Appliances – Household appliances, which include toasters, coffee pots and any other small electrical device, can cause fires, electrocution and other hazards when they are defective. For example, attorney William P. Lightfoot was able to make a series of recoveries for children who were scalded and disfigured by unlabeled water heaters. In another case involving a defective air conditioner which caused a house fire, Mr. Lightfoot was able to develop a patent for a warning label for air conditioners to help prevent future fires and injuries.
  • Chemicals and Cleaning Products – Improperly labeled household chemicals and cosmetics can cause burn injuries and poisoning. Without correct warning labels, you may be harmed even by a cleaner that has no design or manufacturing defects.
  • Contaminated Food – The food you buy is a product and when it is made poorly or contaminated, it can cause much more serious injuries than simple food poisoning. In severe cases, recalled food products can even cause wrongful death.
  • Industrial Equipment and Machinery – Sometimes the machines that manufacture other products can be the center of a product liability lawsuit. When big, heavy industrial equipment is defective, workers are at risk from catastrophic injuries in the event of an accident.

What Should I Do If I Was Hurt by a Defective Product?

The first thing you should do if you are injured by a defective product is seek medical attention immediately. Product defects can cause severe personal injuries such as serious cuts and bruises, spinal cord injuriesbrain injuries, amputations, burn injuries, illness and wrongful death, so your first priority should be getting medical help.

If possible, you should then try to preserve all documentation of the product as evidence for your case. This includes the receipt you received when you purchased the item, as well as the packaging, labels and any instructions that were included. Since you can file a product liability case even if you did not buy or even use the product that hurt you, sometimes these documents are not available. You may even have a case if you were harmed by a product that you bought second-hand. In these cases, putting together a detailed list of everyone involved and any witnesses can be just as helpful.

Once you have recovered, you should contact an attorney. The last thing defective product victims and their families should do is attempt to take on the negligent corporation on their own. If a company is forced to admit that its products are defective, it could suffer devastating financial damages due to recalls and additional lawsuits. In some cases, the damage to a company could be severe enough that the company might even be forced to go out of business. Therefore, most companies will do whatever it takes to discredit product defect injury victims and avoid taking responsibility for the pain and suffering their negligence has caused. We can help protect you from these tactics and hold negligent companies accountable for their products.

Contact Our Law Firm

Injury victims and their families need legal representatives with a history of securing successful verdicts and settlements for their clients on their side. Since 1979, the injury lawyers at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P. have been helping injury survivors and the families of fatal injury victims bring negligent companies to justice through product liability lawsuits.

 To learn more about product liability cases and what your legal rights and options are, give us a call, fill out our online contact form or click on the chat live link at the top of the page. Simply speaking to our lawyers does not mean you have to pursue a claim or hire our firm to handle your case. Talking to us will enable you to learn whether or not you have a valid case and allow us to answer any questions you have about product liability claims. This is information you will need to know to make the best possible decision regarding your and your family’s future. In addition, every second you wait to discuss your situation with an experienced pers attorney evidence valuable to your case could be lost and deadlines to file a lawsuit could be missed. Call us now.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.