In recent posts, we’ve been looking at the issue of product liability as it relates to Tesla’s Autopilot feature. The technology has been blamed for a number of accidents, and has become the subject of litigation because of potential safety risks to consumers.
For any company, designing, manufacturing, and marketing consumer products is something that must be done very carefully to ensure not only the production and sale of quality products and customer safety and satisfaction, but also to minimize legal liabilities and increase the company’s profit. With respect to the legal aspects of product quality, there are several categories of defects that must be managed.
Design defects, of course, pertain to the actual design of a product, whether the product is fit for the intended purpose and whether it meets minimum safety standards. Manufacturing defects relate to the actual production of the product, the quality of the parts used and the integrity of the manufacturing itself. A third category of defects relates to the marketing of a product. Each of these categories of defects presents serious potential liability for a business, and major risk in each area must be properly managed so as to minimize potential liabilities.
It isn’t always the case that the best way to resolve product liability cases is to go to trial and aggressively fight them. In some cases, settling is the most effective way to deal with claims, particularly if the plaintiff or plaintiffs are open to settling. In some cases, it may be possible to pass responsibility to third parties responsible for the harm. In certain cases, though, fighting defect allegations may be desirable. Product liability law is not an easy area of law to navigate, and working with an experienced attorney is important in these cases to ensure a business is best situated to have a favorable outcome in the case.
We’ll say more about this topic in future posts.