Whether a California resident prefers to make purchases online or would rather go into their favorite local shop to buy what they need, they have undoubtedly bought a new consumer good within the last few months. When they got it home they may have taken it out of its packaging and looked over the instruction manual for how to assemble and use their new product. With any luck, their purchase fulfilled a need that they had in their life and improved a problem that they were experiencing.
While most new consumer goods do what they are supposed to do and nothing more, others impart upon their users harm and even injuries. When products suffer from defective designs they can cause individuals to suffer physical injuries and even more serious losses. A dangerously designed product may result in a person’s death.
A product may suffer from a design defect if it possesses several characteristics. First, it must possess a foreseeable risk to individuals who use it. Second, the product must possess that risk when it is used as it was intended by the designer. Third, it may not suffer from any defects in manufacturing that rendered it dangerous — that is, it must have been manufactured as intended per the design.
If a product designer had the option of making their product safer by using a different design or adding safety features that would make it less threatening to consumers, the designer may be liable for putting a dangerous product into the stream of commerce and introducing hazards into the lives of consumers. Readers who have been harmed by dangerous products should take the steps necessary to understand their rights and determine whether they can pursue a personal injury claim.