The Three Types of Product Liability Lawsuits that Arise on Construction Sites
Defective Design | Defective Manufacturing | Failure to Provide Adequate Warnings
One of the more common causes of injury on construction sites is the malfunction or breakdown of tools, machinery, equipment and other products. When you are injured in an accident involving exposure to a dangerous or defective device or product, you have a right to seek compensation in a product liability lawsuit.
There are generally three types of product liability actions:
- Dangerous or defective design—With this type of legal action, the court won’t look at the quality of the construction, fabrication, manufacture or materials. Instead, the court will consider whether the product as designed posed an unreasonable risk of injury. Examples include machinery or equipment that is designed without sufficient attention to center of gravity or distribution of weight, so that they pose an unreasonable risk of tipping over.
- Dangerous or defective manufacture—This type of claim focuses on how the product was assembled, built, constructed, fabricated or manufactured. It may involve the use of substandard materials. It may involve carelessness in training and supervising the employees who assembled or built the product. It may involve the failure to include all necessary parts. A product may be reasonably designed, but provide the basis for a product liability lawsuit if it is carelessly or negligently constructed.
- Failure to provide appropriate warnings or instructions—A manufacturer must include both warnings about potentially dangerous uses of a product or device, and instructions on how to properly use it. A manufacturer may be liable for failing to warn of the dangers associated with uses that may reasonably be foreseen, even if they are not the primary intended uses for the product.
It’s important to understand that, in a product liability action, any person or entity within the chain of distribution, from the manufacturer to the distributor to the retailer, may be liable for your injuries. Furthermore, a product liability claim typically involves a third party (someone other than your employer or a co-worker), so you can usually file a civil lawsuit for those injuries, in addition to seeking workers’ compensation benefits.
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