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Types of Product Liability

If you have been injured or suffered other damages because of a product you used, you may have a defective product liability claim. In any jurisdiction one must prove that the product is defective. Although the scope of defective product cases is broad, product defects are typically divided into three categories that incur liability in manufacturers and suppliers:

(1) Design Defects

Design defects are inherent that they exist before the product is manufactured. While the item might serve its purpose well, it can be unreasonably dangerous to use due to a design failure.

(2) Manufacturing Defects

Manufacturing defects occur during the production of the product.

(3) Marketing Defects and Warnings

Defects in marketing concerning improper instructions in the product and failures to warn might exert latent danger on consumers.


When it comes to the basic types of defective product claims, every state has essentially the same basics laws. For each of these product liability claims, you must show not only the product was defective, but also the defect caused you injury.


In order to consolidate the realization of the above three types of product liability, comparison is made between them through a worked example:

Internal link : Learning > Worked Example - Differentiation between Types of Product Liability



1. From the book: Abbott, H. (1997). Safer by design : a guide to the management and law of designing for product safety. Aldershot, England; Brookfield, Vt: Gower.

2. From the website:

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Last updated on 28 MAR 2010