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What types of product defects create liability in Montana?

When you and others in Montana purchase products you expect to be, or have been warned that they are, hazardous, you are likely more careful when using them. Some products that would be otherwise relatively safe, have defects that may put you at risk for suffering serious injury or death. If you have been injured as a result of using a product, it may behoove you to understand the types of defects that create liability.

Some products carry defects that are intended and present even before they are manufactured. According to the Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute, these are known as design defects.  For example, a chair may be designed with three legs for aesthetic purposes. However, this may also make it more prone to tipping over, which could result in serious injuries for the person who was sitting in the chair.

Manufacturing defects, on the other hand, are unintentional defects that occur when an item is being produced or constructed. For example, the accelerator in a new model vehicle is prone to sticking due to an issue with the manufacturing process. This could cause the vehicle to accelerate unexpectedly or out of control, which could result in a serious auto accident. Unlike design defects, which affect all the products of a particular design, these types of flaws may affect only a few products out of many.

When products have inherent or latent dangers, manufacturers are required to provide you, the consumer, with adequate warnings. The makers of a space heater, for example, must provide warning that the product may overheat if it is left on for 12 hours or more, which could create a significant fire hazard. Additionally, product manufacturers are expected to provide instructions for the safe use of their products in order to help consumers avoid any potential dangers.

This post contains information that is for general purposes only and should not be considered legal advice.

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