When a consumer purchases a new product, they rightfully trust that the designer, manufacturer, and retailer took measures to ensure the product’s safety and efficacy. However, despite testing standards and federal oversight, some dangerous products make their way into the consumer stream. Products with a design or manufacturing defect or that are inherently dangerous may cause serious injuries and lead to a Texas product liability lawsuit. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (USCPSC) requires manufacturers, distributors, and similar entities to report any issues with their products and issue recalls if necessary. However, these parties may still face liability even if they issued a recall.
Texas product liability laws cover claims stemming from design defects, manufacturing defects, and warning defects. The law allows injury victims to recover damages against manufacturers or sellers of a defective product that causes personal injury, death, or property damage. Texas design defect claims are generally the most onerous product liability claim. In these cases, plaintiffs must establish that the victim suffered injuries because the product’s design was inherently dangerous. The law requires plaintiffs to present evidence of a safer and economically feasible alternative design. Manufacturing defects are relevant when the product’s design is appropriate, but something went awry during the manufacturing process that made a specific item dangerous. This type of claim may be appropriate when a manufacturer fails to meet safety or design standards. However, the claims do not apply to those who suffer injuries from a defective product manufactured before updated safety standards. Finally, failure to warn claims are applicable when a manufacturer did not provide appropriate instructions or warnings.
The New York Times recently reported that The Home Depot recalled a popular indoor/outdoor fan, after reports that the fans’ blades were detaching while spinning. The Home Depot issued a voluntary recall after nearly 50 consumer reports of detaching blades. The USCPSC, reported that The Home Depot voluntarily recalled the fans and ceased sales when they discovered the issue. They maintain that the fans are not inherently dangerous, and the hazard resulted from a manufacturing defect.