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Different Types of Product Defects

In Louisiana, if you have been injured as the result of a product defect, you may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer responsible for such defect.

Product liability claims in Louisiana have a very short statute of limitations period that runs just one year from the date of injury.Failure to file your various product liability claims within the applicable deadline will bar you from pursuing such claims and obtaining compensation.As such, it's critical that you speak with an experienced Louisiana product liability attorney as soon as possible after your injury so that your claims can be assessed and litigated in a timely manner.

Defective products are everywhere — on a daily basis, we interact with tens, if not hundreds, of different products, from aggregate products such as motor vehicles and cell phones, to singular products such as cleaning sprays and toaster ovens — and there are a huge variety of ways in which a product can be defective.Fortunately, Louisiana product liability law provides a broad spectrum of claims so that injured parties can adequately recover damages in a number of different scenarios.

What are the different types of product defects (and claims) in Louisiana?

Louisiana product liability law generally exposes the product manufacturer to liability for damages caused as a result of the unreasonable dangerous characteristics of the product at-issue.The damages suffered by the plaintiff must have resulted from a reasonably anticipated use of the product.You cannot, for example, use a garden hedge trimmer to cut hair and then sue the manufacturer for damages — the use of the trimmer to cut hair would likely not be a reasonably anticipated use of the product.

The different types of product defect claims in Louisiana are therefore based on the unreasonably dangerous characteristics of a given product.This can be a bit confusing in the theoretical sense, so let's walk through each type of defect claim.Consider the following categories of product defects (referenced in Louisiana statutory law).

Design Defect

Design defects are difficult to prove, as it usually requires that the plaintiff show that there was some safer alternative design that would have also been financially and technically feasible.Further, the plaintiff will have to show that the product was actually unreasonably dangerous — a certain minimum level of danger may be inherent to use of the product, but unless it rises to an "unreasonable" level of danger, then the manufacturer cannot be held liable.

Manufacturing Defect

Manufacturing defects are essentially defects relating to the composition and construction of products.For example, suppose that a batch of battery-powered action figure toys is affected by some mistake on the assembly line.The batch exposes users to an unreasonably high risk of a battery fire.This sort of "batch defect" would generally fall under the umbrella of manufacturing defects.

Failure to Warn

Manufacturers cannot necessarily prevent all risks and dangers associated with use of their products.Louisiana law requires that manufacturers provide adequate warning to users, however.Warnings, instructions, and other details (regarding use of the product) are critical so that users can avoid the dangers that inhere with foreseeable of use of the product.If a manufacturer fails to do so, they can be held liable on the basis of product defects.

Breach of Warranty

In certain cases, a manufacturer may provide a guarantee that the product will be reasonably safe to use in specific circumstances.By doing so, the manufacturer opens themselves up for liability if the product fails live up to the warranty of safety.For example, if a manufacturer guarantees that a table will also be safe to stand on, and instead, the table collapses under your weight and you are injured, you might have a legitimate claim against the manufacturer for breach of warranty. 

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