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When shopping at a grocery or home improvement store, we don’t think much about the risk associated with our purchases. But maybe we should?

In 2022 alone, over 12.7 million people made ER visits for consumer product-related injuries. Thousands of products are sold to consumers with defects every year and aren’t recalled when they should be. Common injuries involve more vulnerable populations (young children & older adults) and include:

  • Choking (on defective or small pieces)
  • Broken bones (poorly manufactured furniture or equipment)
  • Significant burns (faulty electrical wiring)
  • Organ damage (miscommunicated side effects and toxins)
  • Head/neck injuries (defective safety features)

Most injuries from consumer products occur because they are assumed to be safe by consumers. However, over 1,284 drugs are recalled each year. In 2023, the United States’ recall rates hit a seven-year high with 135.2 million units recalled. With the increase in consumer product-related defects, it’s become even more critical to understand your legal rights and options, including the different types of damages and your right to sue.

Understanding Defective Products

What Constitutes a Defective Product?

A defective product is a product with a problem or flaw that is dangerous to use. A product can become defective for a variety of reasons including improper design, manufacturing errors, and misguided/miscommunicated potential dangers to consumers.

Most defective products are categorized with three labels:

  • Design defect
  • Manufacturing defect
  • Marketing defect

Each type of defect fails to properly forewarn or be forthcoming with information about a product’s flaws. For example, marketing defects are when products are sold to consumers by way of misleading statements, instructions, or warnings. Poppi, a soda company launched in 2020, is currently facing a lawsuit for misleading consumers about the “gut health” benefits of their drink. There are claims that the statements by the company advertising this quality were exaggerated. Design defects are when the product is considered defective for its inherently poor design quality. However, the difference with manufacturing defects is that they were supposedly not intended.

Common Examples of Defective Products

There are many products that we use daily that regularly cause injury to consumers:

  • Cars, tires, and airbags
  • Kids’ toys
  • Firearms and weapons
  • Medical equipment
  • Power tools
  • OTC medications and pharmaceuticals
  • Automobiles, including parts and tires

Legal Framework for Defective Product Claims

Consumer Protection Laws

There are federal laws set in place to protect consumers from deceptive and unfair business practices, dangerous goods and services, and defective products. The FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection collects complaints, conducts investigations, and sues companies when they break these laws. The overall purpose is to ensure a fair marketplace for consumers.

There are two types of liability that help lay the foundation for these laws:

Merchant Liability

Merchant liability is the provider’s implied responsibility for promising consumers that there is nothing inherently wrong with their goods and services, making them safe for purchase.

Consumer Liability

Consumer liability is the consumer’s implied responsibility that they will use a product or service the way a manufacturer has advised it to be used. The consumer promises to not be negligent.

The Role of Negligence in Product Liability

In order to have a case for a product defect lawsuit, there are a couple of things that need to be true:

  • The product is defective
  • The product was that way when the defendant sold it to the plaintiff
  • The defect is the reason for and cause of the plaintiff’s injury and/or negligence claim.

In certain cases, a court will rule that regardless of the defendant’s intent or knowledge of the product’s faults, the defendant is liable for the plaintiff’s injuries. This is considered a “strict liability offense.”

Detailed Explanation of Legal Theories in Defective Product Cases

When pursuing a claim for injuries caused by a defective product, several legal theories can be applied to hold the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer liable. Understanding these theories is crucial for determining the best approach for your case. The primary legal theories in defective product cases include negligence, strict liability, and breach of warranty (both express and implied).


Negligence occurs when a party fails to exercise reasonable care in the design, manufacturing, or marketing of a product, resulting in harm to the consumer. To establish negligence, the plaintiff must prove that:

  1. The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff.
  2. The defendant breached that duty by acting or failing to act in a certain way.
  3. The breach caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
  4. The plaintiff suffered actual damages as a result.

Strict Liability

Strict liability holds a manufacturer or seller liable for placing a defective product into the hands of a consumer, regardless of intent or negligence. Under strict liability, the plaintiff must prove that:

  1. The product was defective when it left the defendant’s control.
  2. The product was used in a reasonably foreseeable way.
  3. The defect caused the plaintiff’s injury.

Strict liability focuses on the product itself rather than the behavior of the manufacturer, making it easier for injured consumers to seek compensation.

Breach of Warranty

Warranties are promises or guarantees made by a seller or manufacturer about the quality and safety of a product. There are two main types of warranties: express and implied.

Express Warranty

An express warranty is a specific promise made by the manufacturer or seller regarding the product. This can include statements made in marketing materials, product descriptions, or verbal assurances from sales representatives. For example, a manufacturer might expressly warrant that a product is “100% safe” or “free from defects.” If the product fails to meet these stated promises, the consumer may have a claim for breach of express warranty.

Implied Warranty

Implied warranties are assurances that are not explicitly stated but are assumed by law to exist. There are two primary types of implied warranties:

  • Implied Warranty of Merchantability: This warranty guarantees that a product is fit for the ordinary purposes for which such products are used. For instance, if you purchase a toaster, there is an implied warranty that it will toast bread safely and effectively.
  • Implied Warranty of Fitness for a Particular Purpose: This warranty applies when a seller knows that a buyer needs a product for a specific purpose and the buyer relies on the seller’s expertise to select a suitable product. For example, if a consumer purchases a ladder to reach a certain height based on the seller’s recommendation, there is an implied warranty that the ladder will be safe and appropriate for that particular use.

Combining Theories for a Stronger Case

In many defective product cases, multiple legal theories can be applied simultaneously to build a stronger case. For instance, a plaintiff might pursue claims based on negligence, strict liability, and breach of warranty to cover all possible angles of liability. This comprehensive approach increases the chances of a successful outcome and ensures that all responsible parties are held accountable for the harm caused.

By thoroughly understanding these legal theories, consumers can better navigate the complexities of defective product claims and work effectively with their product liability attorney to seek the compensation they deserve.

Filing a Defective Product Lawsuit in Las Vegas

When to Consider Filing a Lawsuit

In order to file for a defective product lawsuit, you need to have all of the following:

  • You experienced losses of some kind or were injured.
  • At purchase, the product was defective.
  • You used the product per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • The product’s defect is the main reason for your injury or losses.

If you plan to seek damages for your injuries, it is important that you collect as much evidence as possible to support your claim.

The Process of a Defective Product Lawsuit

Not all resolutions end in a lawsuit. However, if any of the below steps do not provide an outcome that appropriately compensates you for the injuries and harm you experienced from a defective product, a lawsuit would be the last resort.

  • Seek medical treatment to tend to your injuries.
  • Contact the product’s manufacturer detailing the outcome of using their product/service.
  • Get into contact with and consult with a product liability attorney.
  • Your attorney will work with the manufacturer’s attorney to determine the fault.
  • Gather all the information and evidence you have collected up until this point about the defective product, your treatment, conversations with the manufacturer and attorney.
  • Present documentation to involved/assigned insurance companies to negotiate a settlement.
  • If necessary, file a product liability lawsuit to seek compensation for damages.

When it comes to analyzing the defective product and its capacity to cause harm, it is important to utilize expert testimonials and professional defect analysis specialists. Not only will their perception of the facts be key in convincing the judge and jury, but they will also help break down complex technical knowledge into more digestible content.

Choosing the Right Defective Products Attorney

What to Look for in an Attorney

Choosing the right defective product attorney for your case comes with its own pressures. To ensure you end up with an attorney who can accurately and effectively represent you, look for the following qualities:

  • Product liability and personal injury expertise.
  • Successful record of managing defective product cases.

Consultation and Case Evaluation

During your initial conversation with your attorney, you will be covering a couple of important topics, including:

  • The validity of your case and its merits.
  • An overview of how the legal process works.
  • The details of the product defect accident.
  • Your injuries from the incident.
  • Any supporting documentation or evidence you have collected.

When it comes time to ask about your attorney’s experience and approach to winning the case, consider asking the following questions:

  • Have you ever been on a case like mine before?
  • What are all the possible different outcomes of my case?
  • If I don’t want to move forward with a lawsuit, what are my alternative options?
  • What is your experience in the defective product field?

Case Studies and Success Stories

Local and National Case Examples

With the large number of defective product recalls every year, there are a variety of cases that have become of local and national interest. The following case examples are instances of when victims of defective product injuries won lawsuits against liable manufacturers:

  • Philip Morris: Known today as Altria Group Inc., was sued by a woman in 2022 who had lung cancer. Her claim was that their cigarettes were to blame for her illness and her tobacco addiction was a result of the tobacco company’s negligence in telling consumers about smoking risks. The company was ordered to pay $28 billion in punitive damages.
  • Dow Corning: Of The Dow Chemical Co., reached a settlement in 1998 that required the company to pay $3.2 billion to customers whose silicone breast implants ruptured and caused severe bodily damage. Each woman received $12,000 to $60,000 depending on their individual injuries, and each woman whose implants had yet to rupture was each paid $5,000.
  • General Motors: Was sued by six individuals in 1999 who were severely burned when their cars were hit from the rear. It was found that there was a faulty gas tank on General Motors’ 1979 Chevrolet Malibu. The plaintiffs showed proof that GM knew of defects yet did nothing about them, validating their $4.9 billion punitive damages lawsuit.

Preventive Measures and Consumer Awareness

How to Protect Yourself from Defective Products

Because more and more products are being recalled every year, it is important to take practical and proactive measures to limit your vulnerability. When purchasing or utilizing products that are regularly recalled, periodically review your items on cpsc.gov/recalls and saferproducts.gov. Common products to keep an eye on are:

  • Appliances
  • Electronics
  • Children’s toys
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Other frequently recalled items

Additionally, consider registering new products to receive recall notifications, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use.

Resources and Support for Victims

If you are in need of support, the following resources are available and service individuals in Nevada:

  • The National Association of Consumer Advocates
  • Nevada Consumer Affairs
  • Nevada Office of the Attorney General
  • Bureau of Consumer Protection

Comparative Legal Analysis

International Perspectives on Product Liability

Understanding how defective product claims are handled in other jurisdictions can offer valuable insights. For instance:

  • European Union: The EU has stringent product safety regulations that require manufacturers to ensure their products meet safety standards before being marketed.
  • Canada: Similar to the U.S., Canada has robust consumer protection laws, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency oversees recalls of food products.

These comparisons highlight the importance of comprehensive legal frameworks in protecting consumers globally.

Seeking Legal Advice?

Despite the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection’s best efforts, many products go undetected by quality control or are purposely released into the hands of unassuming consumers. Advocating for your right to purchase products from manufacturers safely is a key part of a well-functioning, free marketplace. Because of the rate at which products are recalled, consumers must remain vigilant about the quality of the products in their households and knowledgeable about their legal rights regarding defective products. If you have experienced harm or injury from a defective product, reach out to a defective product lawyer, like Naqvi Law, for personalized advice about seeking compensation.

By understanding your rights and the legal process surrounding defective products, you can better protect yourself and your loved ones from potential harm. Stay informed, stay safe, and know that legal help is available if you need it.

Schedule Your Free Consultation Today!

Don’t wait until it’s too late to seek the compensation you deserve. Take action now and protect your rights! Contact Naqvi Law today to schedule your free consultation with our experienced product liability lawyers. Our team is here to provide you with personalized advice and support every step of the way. Click here to schedule your consultation and take the first step towards justice. Your safety and well-being are our top priorities!