Various legal theories have been used to define a product’s liability and related claims based on the harm caused by a faulty product to a buyer. In most incidences, two regimes are applied in substantiating the claims, and these are strict liability and the theory of negligence. The primary difference between the two is that the former does not need proof that the accused acted recklessly, but the latter does. Nonetheless, regardless of the regime, the buyer always has to prove that the product purchased exhibits one of the three forms of defects, which include marketing defects, design defects, and manufacturing defects. The plaintiff will have to demonstrate that the identified faults led to injury illustrated by the liability regimes.
Manufacturing defects usually happen when the responsible company is not careful enough with the specifics of the product when it was made. Related errors on the item result from mistakes made at the various manufacturing steps but, in most cases, the assembly line. For instance, a motorcycle accident caused by faulty brakes could have resulted due to oversight while making that part of the bike. This type of defect is usually tied to negligence theory because the manufacturing company disregarded its responsibility to make safe motorcycles that cannot harm the rider or pedestrians.
Design defects apply in instances where a whole line of items share the same fault, making them unsafe for consumption. Even though the manufacturing process was perfect and nobody deviated from the required standards of the assembly line, the items still got faulty. The individuals responsible for creating the specifications of the product are to blame. Consequently, the rule of foreseeability in a proximate cause can be applied whenever there are design defects because the manufacturing followed the blueprint and never expected issues in its products. The argument can help in transferring the liability to the product designers. However, the manufacturer will have to prove that the situation would be different if a different design was used to make the products.
Failures to warn, also known as marketing defects, occur when manufacturers ignore their responsibility to give relevant instructions concerning the use of their products. Similarly, they may fail to alert their consumers of the imminent risks related to using the product. A company can then be sued for negligence of the duty to communicate to buyers the issues relating to the merchandise. However, the manufacturer will not be liable for assumed risks such as overspeeding on a motorcycle bought from the company. Consequently, in establishing the proof of breach of duty, risk-utility and consumer expectation tests can be conducted to determine whether the warning given concerning the product was relevant or fake.
The laws relating to product liability over the years have changed to improve the effectiveness of tort law. Privity of contract is a rule often exercised in common law, which demonstrates that an individual cannot transfer or force rights and obligations on another party who is not included in the contract. However, there have been criticisms of this doctrine, claiming that it is not flexible enough to consider genuine expressions of involved parties intended to gain from the related contract. Consequently, strict liability has been a better approach because it considers third parties such as insurers in covering specific damages caused by a company.