Design Defects

       A design defect product liability lawsuit must prove that there is something about the design that was “unreasonably dangerous”.  A good example of this would be a child safety seat that is designed so that a child that was using it correctly would have a harness around their neck in a dangerous way.  Many cases of this sort involve medical devices that are defective or used incorrectly,  such as vaginal mesh lawsuits, Pradaxa lawsuits or Stryker hip implant lawsuits.

       In a design defect case, as opposed to a manufacturing defect or marketing defect, the burden is on the injured person to prove that, more likely than not a safer design was available and the defective product was the “producing cause” of the personal injury, property damage or death.

       “Safer Alternative Design” means that there is a product designed other than the one that was actually used.  It must be shown that the safer alternative in reasonable probability:

  • would have prevented, or significantly reduced, the risk personal injury, property damage, or death without substantially impairing the product’s utility,
  • was feasible, both economically and technologically, when the defective product left the control of either the manufacturer or the seller
  • the feasibility was possible by the application of either existing or reasonably achievable scientific knowledge at the time of production.

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