Design Defects: When Is A Product Defectively Designed?

Design Defects: When Is A Product Defectively Designed?

In a country powered by consumer goods, 毫无疑问,法律的存在是为了确保进入商业流通的产品的安全, 和 to protect victims who suffer losses as a result of defective products.

产品质量责任 使因缺陷产品而受到伤害的原告能够对责任方(通常是制造商)提起民事诉讼, 经销商, 或零售商.

While there are different types of products liability cases, including negligence 和 breach of warranty, California law imposes 严格责任 设计缺陷,这意味着原告不需要证明被告有过失. In order for 严格责任 to apply, 该产品 also does not have to be unreasonably dangerous; it only needs to be defective (Romine v. 江森自控公司. (2014) 224大卡.应用程序.4th 990, 1000).

Because design defect cases are based on 严格责任, claims that allege a defective design are generally hinged on:

  1. Proving a product is defective; 和
  2. Proving a sufficient causal connection between the Defendant, 该产品, 和 the Plaintiffs’ injury.

什么是设计缺陷?

设计缺陷是某种类型的缺陷,在有意设计的产品,使其从一开始就有缺陷. A chair designed with three legs, 例如, is defectively designed because it is prone to tipping over.

Under California law, there is a little more to the elements of a products case, 和 a lot more that goes into determining what constitutes a design defect. Specifically, thanks to the l和mark case of Bar根据v. 暂停工程有限公司. (1978) 20卡路里.3d 413, 426-429) there are two separate tests to prove a design defect:

  1. The Consumer Expectation Test;
  2. 风险-效益测试.

原告可以使用其中一个或两个测试向陪审团证明设计缺陷(McCabe v American Honda Motor Co. (2002) 100大卡.应用程序.4th 1111, 1126). Pleading more claims against a defendant, 在可能的情况下, can add to the leverage 和 strength of a case.

The Consumer Expectation Test

In most cases, the simplest test for proving a design defect is the 消费者期望测试 (CACI国际公司没有. 1203). 简而言之, 该测试评估的是产品在正常使用时是否没有达到普通消费者所期望的安全性能, or in a 合理的可预见的 道路.

每 the California Civil Jury Instructions, Plaintiffs must prove that:

  1. 被告负责设计、制造、经销、销售该产品;
  2. 该产品的性能没有达到普通消费者预期的安全性能(当按预期或合理可预见的方式使用时);
  3. The Plaintiff was injured;
  4. 产品不能安全运行是造成伤害的一个重要因素.

尽管保留专家和专家是诉讼前调查和产品案例准备的重要组成部分, 在基于消费者期望测试的设计缺陷索赔中,专家证词可能不会像在其他测试中那样起重要作用. 而在风险-收益测试下提出的主张可能需要专家之间的竞争, 那些在消费者期望测试下进行的测试只需要专注于提供证据,陪审团将使用“在证据所提供的情况下,产品是否符合一般预期的安全性的自己的感觉”.” (罗米恩,上,224卡路里.应用程序.4日在1001)

这意味着原告仍需要向陪审团证明,该产品的性能并不像理性的消费者预期的那样安全——比如一辆自行车突然坍塌, a wheel lock that fails to fully brake, or a thermos that separates 和 causes burns. Experts cannot be used to opine on what consumers ordinarily expect (查韦斯v. 格洛克公司. (2012) 207大卡.应用程序.4th 1283, 1303).

关于消费者期望测试需要考虑的其他重要问题:

  • 可预见的误用: 在设计缺陷案件中,当消费者在某一地区滥用一种产品时,被告可能要对所造成的伤害负责 合理的可预见的 道路. St和ing on a plastic chair, 例如, may constitute foreseeable misuse. Driving a Corvette at 90mph, may also be foreseeable misuse (although comparative fault may also apply).
  • Joint 和 Several Liability: Strict liability among Defendants in products cases is joint 和 several, 这意味着任何涉及将产品带入商业流的被告都可以对原告的所有损害负责. Defendants may seek to indemnify themselves from each other. If another Defendant could also be liable under the theory of negligence, fault may be apportioned between strictly liable 和 negligent Defendants. 在产品设计师或制造商是外国实体的情况下,连带和连带责任可以使原告及其律师受益. In such a situation, a claim against a U.S.美国的零售商(他们可能会为销售产品投保商业保险)仍然允许原告获得损害赔偿.
  • 国防 & 发现: Defendants in product cases may be apt to stonewalling, 但坚持不懈的原告律师可以强制发现,以迫使他们分享重要证据, including any 和 all documents relating to the design, 专利, 和 warning / instructions of a product. 而《beat365手机中文官方网站》通常禁止在基于疏忽或有罪行为的案件中承认有关随后补救措施的证据, such evidence is discoverable 和 admissible in 严格责任 claims (奥尔特,在117-120). This can be a powerful tool in products cases.

风险-效益测试

Proving 严格责任 using a risk-benefit test, which is common when products are technically or mechanically complex, generally requires Plaintiffs to prove only that:

  1. 被告负责设计、制造、经销、销售该产品;
  2. 原告受到损害;
  3. The design of 该产品 was a substantial factor in causing injury.

CACI国际公司没有. 1204,陪审团被告知,他们必须做出有利于原告的裁决,证明上述要素, 除非 被告有效 证明了产品设计的好处大于设计的风险.

在决定 whether benefits outweigh risks陪审团考虑:

  • 使用本产品可能导致的潜在伤害的严重性;
  • The likelihood of these injuries occurring;
  • 在生产产品时,是否有一种更安全的替代设计可行;
  • The cost of an alternative design;
  • The disadvantages of an alternative design;
  • 其他相关因素.

因为责任转移到了被告身上来证明他们被质疑的设计的好处大于危险的风险, Plaintiffs will also likely need to counter by proving that a feasible, 合理的选择 design existed, 和 that its adoption could have reduced or prevented their injury.

在许多方面, 利用风险-收益测试的设计缺陷声明可能会变成专家之间的战斗,以及关于所谓缺陷的存在及其潜在的更安全的替代方案的争论. 然而,原告的律师应该记住,对什么构成一个 合理的选择.

这包括产品和其建议的替代品之间的法律区别, 特别是产生类似效果或最终结果的产品之间的区别, but operate in a “fundamentally different” manner. In a recent Massachusetts appeals court decision, 例如, 原告认为,避孕贴片可能会降低血栓的风险, 在某种程度上, if the contraceptive came in pill form. 然而, 法院裁定,因为这两种产品的运作方式完全不同, 药丸不能被认为是贴片的合法、充分、合理的替代品(Niedner v. Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc.).

How Long Do I Have to File a Design Defect Lawsuit?

在加州,人身伤害的法定时效适用于设计缺陷的索赔. This means a Plaintiffs will have two years to file a civil lawsuit to recover financial compensation for the damages they incurred, including their pain 和 suffering, 损失的收入, 医疗费用, 和 other economic 和 non-economic damages.

每 California’s discovery rule, the two-year statute of limitations begins when a Plaintiff knows, 或者应该知道, of the injury 和 its relation to 该产品.

在许多情况下,这意味着从涉及缺陷产品的事故发生之日起两年. 为他人, such as defective products resulting latent injuries or illnesses, 这意味着从原告意识到他们的状况和使用产品之间的因果关系之日起两年.

Biren法律团体:经过验证 & Passionate Representation

beat365手机中文官方网站是一家父子法律团队和精品律师事务所,专注于为复杂的索赔案件提供个性化和富有激情的代理. If you or someone you love have been injured by a defective product, or if you are an attorney with a complex products case in California, our team is available to evaluate the merits of your potential case, 和 the most viable avenues for a successful resolution.

Learn more about your options 和 how our team can help by calling (310) 896-4345 或在线beat365手机中文官方网站. beat365手机中文官方网站产品律师为洛杉矶和南加州的客户提供服务.

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