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Examples of Design Defects and How to Avoid Injury

What is a Design Defect?

Design defects are errors that occur before a product ever reaches the production stage. When a product malfunctions, it is almost always due to something that occurred during the manufacturing process. However, when a product has an inherently dangerous design flaw, and is produced anyway, this is considered a design defect.

Examples of Design Defects

For example, an action figure that is designed for children under 4 years of age may be fine right out of the package, but two weeks later, after the toy has been played with in the manner in which it was designed to be, the arm breaks off because the movable shoulder joint was too weak. This broken part now becomes a choking hazard. The manufacturer produced the toy exactly as it was designed; however, the initial specifications were inadequate.

Another hypothetical example of a design defect might be a hard plastic storage container with a snap-on lid. The container and lid work perfectly, However, the underside of the lip on the top of the container has a very sharp edge that you only notice when you reach in to wash the container. It is so sharp that it can cause a very bad cut. The original specifications do not address this issue, so it is a perfect example of a design defect.

If this was a real product, a simple design modification, that includes a rounded edge, would eliminate the risk of injury. This new 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 generally consider in a design defect case. Another aspect to consider is the economic feasibility of implementing the improved design compared with the estimated cost of medical bills for the estimated number of injuries likely to occur.

Avoiding Injury

The best way to avoid injury due to a design defect is to carefully inspect newly purchased items for loose parts, sharp edges, and when it comes to toys intended for small children, parts that might break off too easily. New power tools should be used with extra care, watching for anything that might be an inherent danger. Power cords on new appliances should be checked to see if they get too hot before you leave them plugged in while you sleep or when you leave your house.

Additionally, before purchasing anything unfamiliar to you, you might want to check out the product reviews online. For products intended for use by children and major purchases of any kind, it is a good idea to see if the item has any inherent problems that other people have noted, or if any recalls are in place for similar items.

Legal Assistance

Design defects can cause serious injury. If a defective product has caused an injury to you or someone you care about, consider speaking with a knowledgeable Joliet personal injury lawyer from Shea Law Group. We have handled thousands of product liability cases over the years- many involving defective designs. We understand the complexities of these types of cases and have the experience to achieve a positive outcome for you.

Give us a call at (877)-365-0040 or fill out a contact form online. There is absolutely no risk involved, as we never charge a penny unless we win your case for you.