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How is a manufacturing defect different from a design defect?

Products are often the cause of harm to a person, even after they have gone through all of the necessary quality checks that are mandatory before they end up on the shelves. When this happens, the injury that incurs can often be serious. This is especially true when a young child has been injured by a toy, for example, or when an electrical product has a fault. Many people decide to exercise their right to file a claim to recoup damages in this situation. If this is the case, the question must be asked: Was it a design defect or a manufacturing defect?

The answer to the question will be ultimately be decided by the courts, but it is important for you as the plaintiff to decide what you believe the cause of the injury was.

Manufacturing defects

When there is a defect in manufacturing, it means that when you were injured, it was due to the product functioning in a way that it was not intended to function. In this way, the product was faulty perhaps because of some lax quality control standards. However, if the product had been functioning in the way it was supposed to, you would not have been injured.

Design defects

When there is a defect in the design, it means that the designer of the product intentionally created something that had the potential to injure you the way that it did. Therefore, it injured you even though it was functioning as it should have been.

If you have been injured by a product, it is important to consider the defect and the cause, since it will affect the liability and your claim.

Source: Findlaw, "Product Liability: Manufacturing Defects vs. Design Defects," accessed Oct. 25, 2017

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