What Does it Mean When a Product Has a Design Defect?

When people are injured as a result of a defective product, they have the right to pursue compensation for the harm they have suffered. While there are many types of product defects, the ones with the greatest potential for widespread harm are known as design defects. What does it mean for a product to have a design defect, and how does that affect the average consumer?

Explaining Design Defects

In simple terms, a design defect is something inherent to how a product was designed that makes it potentially harmful, even when used as intended. Unlike manufacturing defects, which are unique to individual units, a design defect will affect an entire product line. This means that a design defect that hurts even a single person has a risk of hurting anyone else who uses the product, potentially making a product recall necessary.

Types of Design Defects

There are numerous ways a product could have a design defect. Some common examples include:

  • Toys manufactured with small parts that children can swallow or choke on.
  • Products manufactured with lead paint or other toxic materials.
  • Medications with unknown or undisclosed toxic side effects.
  • Power tools with faulty or ineffective safety mechanisms.
  • Vehicles that will not start, or which stall while in use.
  • Airbags that do not deploy on impact.
  • Chairs or stools that collapse under the weight of a regular person.
  • Ladders that tilt or collapse, even when appropriately supported.

What Design Defects Can Do to People

When someone uses a product with a design defect, there is a risk they will injure themselves or the people around them. A driver operating a car with defective brakes, for example, may not be able to stop in time to avoid accidents with pedestrians or other vehicles on the road. A toy with lead paint can sicken and permanently harm children that ingest the paint. A medication with toxic side effects can worsen a person’s medical condition, or even kill them outright.

What You Should Do if You Discover a Design Defect

If you are using a product and suspect it may have a design defect, check to see if there has been a recall issued for the product, which you can see on the CPSC’s website. If you, or someone you know, has been injured by a defective product, you should immediately seek medical attention for your injury. You should also speak to a personal injury lawyer with experience handling product liability matters, who can help you with your case.

Fox Law Firm, PLLC is a New York personal injury law practice serving clients throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties. With over three decades of law practice experience, they attorneys at Fox Law Firm have helped clients in personal injury cases obtain the compensation they deserve. For more information or to ask for a consultation, call our Riverhead office at 631-779-3400 or visit our contact page.

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Jamie Winkelman
Jamie Winkelman
16:02 03 Jun 22
Dan went above and beyond to aide and support me while handling my case. I will forever be grateful to all of the hard work he put in. As a result I am now able to move forward with my life.
Vicki Bock
Vicki Bock
01:11 10 Dec 21
Fox Law Firm was recommended to me by my real estate lawyer. Kevin and Dan were always kind, professional and answered any questions I had. It was a painless process thanks to them. I highly recommend this law firm.
margaretlaunonen
margaretlaunonen
02:12 03 Dec 21
Used Fox Law Firm and would highly recommend. Daniel and Kevin are amazing and were extremely helpful during the time of my accident. I appreciate the wonderful and thorough communication this office provided. Very friendly and informative!
Asghar Jafri
Asghar Jafri
19:21 27 Sep 21
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Dru Cuffee
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laura mcneil
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Donna Cahill
Donna Cahill
02:49 05 Jun 21
It is hard to find words to describe how grateful I am that we were lucky enough to find Kevin Fox to assist us in our time of need. Always the professional, always prompt with an answer to a question or an explanation before the question was even asked, Kevin was able to bring a sense of calm competence to a situation fraught with fear.Kevin provided a much needed reassurance at a critical time, allowing us to concentrate on adjusting to a new reality while trusting him to take care of the other important matters at hand. This he did, and was more successful than we could have imagined.I don’t know how we would have managed without him.Donna Cahill
Michael Bianco
Michael Bianco
10:27 26 May 21
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Clif Vooris
20:42 20 May 21
What an amazing law firm, couldn’t be better
Deirdre Horney
Deirdre Horney
23:47 26 Mar 21
Excellent attorneys at this firm
Elizabeth Moran
Elizabeth Moran
22:36 26 Mar 21
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21:50 26 Mar 21
James Russell
James Russell
20:10 26 Mar 21
Highly recommend Fox Law Firm for any of your personal injury needs. Kevin and Dan are both seasoned lawyers and delivered on my expectations!
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Chris Roggemann
20:03 26 Mar 21
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