Defective Consumer Products

Get help when you are hurt

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is responsible for protecting consumers from unreasonable risks of injury or death from more than 15,000 types of products sold in the United States.

The nation spends more than $800 billion annually for deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer products, according to the commission. The CPSC helps to protect consumers from products that might cause fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard – or that can injure children. Examples include toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals.

The FDA Drugs regulates medical devices, cosmetics, and processed and fresh foods, while the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration oversees automobiles, car seats, motorcycles, tires and trucks.

Litigation also helps make products safer by imposing on manufacturers the possibility of monetary damages, potential media attention, and revelation of information gained about product development during the litigation process, according to an article by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in a 2003 article in Epidemiologic Reviews.

Product liability claims generally fall into one of these four categories:

  • Negligence, which extends to all parts of production and marketing
  • Warranty,  in which advertising or information overstates the benefits of a product or fails to accurately assess its performance.
  • Strict liability, which means the product was defective when the seller received it.
  • Misrepresentation, which happens when advertising, labels or product information misrepresent material facts about the character or quality of the product.

Three types of product defects can incur liability in manufacturers and suppliers:

  • Design, a defect that occurs before the product is manufactured.
  • Manufacturing, a defect caused during the manufacturing process.
  • Marketing, includes improper instructions and warnings