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Some defective products, like faulty brakes in a car, are immediately obvious. Others, like drinking water exposed to carcinogens or other harmful materials, can take years to surface. No matter the time it takes for a product defect to become apparent, all will fall into one of three major categories:


  • Design Defect
  • Manufacturing Defect
  • Marketing Defect

There are no federal laws concerning product liability. However, each state has its own set of rules concerning product defects and the responsibilities of plaintiffs and defendants in a product liability suit. Luckily for plaintiffs, Texas is a strict liability state. This means that plaintiffs don’t have to prove negligence on the part of manufacturers or designers – simply that the product in question is defective. Below are explanations of the three types of product defects, along with common examples of each:

  1. Design Defect

Products with this type of flaw might not be obvious at first. Injuries are common in vehicle collisions, but certain design flaws could exacerbate physical damage. In this case, all the products made under the design will be defective, so you could look for similar incidents to bolster your case in this context. A serious example of this defect type is the recent General Motors recall, which came to a head in 2014. Ignition switches in hundreds of thousands of GM-manufactured cars would shut off the vehicle’s engine while the car was in motion, causing more than a dozen deaths.

  1. Manufacturing Defect

This defect occurs when something goes wrong during the physical creation of a product. For example, a defective piece of machinery in a factory might fail to properly seal lids of a batch of sour cream. The batch that passed through that faulty step in the process would be tainted by a manufacturing defect, possibly leading to serious illness for consumers. 

  1. Marketing Defect

This does not refer to misleading advertising or something related to marketing in the classical sense. A marketing defect refers to instances in which consumers were not properly warned or given an opportunity to be educated about any potential perils of a product. FDA-approved drugs, for example, must come with exhaustive lists of possible side effects. Otherwise, drug makers are guilty of committing a marketing defect for failing to educate consumers about the potential consequences of the product.

Injury Does Not Always Equal Defect

Just because you are injured by a product does not mean it is defective. For example, a chainsaw that’s too dull to injure you if it accidentally touches you probably isn’t functioning as intended. Or when a product is known to cause serious adverse health effects as an expected repercussion from its normal use, you will not likely have a viable product liability case. However, knowing if you have a viable product liability claim can be confusing, which is why the legal guidance of an experienced attorney is vital.

Proving Your Case

Tens of thousands of product defects affect Americans every year. When one results in physical harm to you or a loved one, we can help determine the payout you’re entitled to. Contact us now to get started with a free consultation.