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Design Defects

What is a Design Defect?

Unlike manufacturing defects, which are errors that occur when a product is produced, design defects are errors in the design of the product before it reaches the production phase. When a product malfunctions, it is usually attributable to an error in the production process. However, when a product has an inherently dangerous design flaw, and it is placed into production anyway, this is considered a design defect.

These types of cases focus on the manufacturer’s plans for producing the product. A company becomes liable for an injury caused by their product if there was a foreseeable risk posed by this product when it was manufactured according to the design specifications, and it was being used for its intended purpose when the injury occurred.

Example of a Design Defect

For example, let’s examine a hypothetical toy car that is designed for 2-5-year-old children. This car has doors that open and close, wheels that turn, and glides easily across the floor using kid-power. There are no small parts that come off easily, eliminating the risk of choking, and it seems like a safe toy. However, the underside of the car has an extremely sharp plastic edge that can cause a serious cut when a child grabs the car in a certain way. This unfinished edge was included in the original design.

In this case, a simple alternative design that includes a rounded edge would likely eliminate the risk of injury. This finished edge would not affect the product’s intended purpose, and it would be easily added to the manufacturing process-two aspects that the court will usually consider in a design defect case.

The third aspect to be considered is economic feasibility. This is determined by estimating the cost of implementing the better design and comparing it to the estimated cost of medical bills for the estimated number of injuries that are likely to occur.

Legal Assistance

Design defects can cause serious and life-altering injuries. If a defective product has caused an injury to you or someone you care about, the best way to ensure you understand your legal rights is to speak with a knowledgeable Chicago injury lawyer. At Shea Law Group, we have handled thousands of product liability cases over the years- many involving defective design issues. We understand the complexities of these types of cases and have the experience to achieve a positive outcome for you.

Reach out to us today to book your free, no-obligation consultation with one of our dedicated product liability lawyers. Call at (877)-365-0040 or fill out a contact form online, and remember, we never charge a cent unless we win your case for you. Our Chicago injury lawyers are here for you.