Consumers spend a lot of money every year on products, and they expect that items sold in retail establishments are safe for them to use. Most consumer goods meet at least a minimum standard regarding safety and reliability, but some of them fail spectacularly and dangerously with little warning.
Dangerous and defective products cause consumers harm – and sometimes fatal harm – on a regular basis. Certain kinds of product failures are much higher risk than others. The following types of product failures tend to put consumers at the most risk.
Issues involving defective design
When companies fail to consider the way that consumers might handle a product, the design may not actually meet rigorous safety standards. Design issues can range from a product that fails unexpectedly after minimal external damage to products that do not function as they should in an emergency, such as when airbags explode during deployment during a collision. Design errors can often lead to catastrophic product failure, which can have major consequences for the individual affected.
Chemical or bacterial contamination
There are multiple kinds of contamination that can lead to consumer safety concerns. For example, in recent years, there have been multiple recalls of medications due to the presence of known carcinogens along with the active ingredient. There have also been several large consumer safety lawsuits filed against manufacturers because health and beauty products, including makeup and bath products, had detectable levels of asbestos contamination. Contamination can lead to infection, cancer and other forms of severe illness.
Sometimes, the overall design for a product is solid, but there are production runs of the product that do not meet the standards established by the company releasing the product. Mistakes by workers on a fabrication line or materials that do not meet the company’s standards could lead to involving a product that might be safe in most cases being unsafe because of errors during the production process. Consumers might trust the products because of the brand reputation and end up severely hurt as a result.
Even when manufacturers issue a recall because of product defects, consumers can still end up hurt or sometimes dead as a result of product challenges. Seeking legal guidance to pursue a product liability claim can compensate those who have been sickened or injured by a poorly designed or poorly manufactured product.