How Do I Prove a Product Is Defective?

I’m David Salazar, with the Safety Guardians. Today, I want to answer the following question: How do you prove that a product is defective? That’s a good question. That’s because in the legal field, we have elements that need to be met. And they vary from state to state. Generally speaking, in most states, there are four basic elements.

The four basic elements

  1. The first one is that you are injured or you suffered some type of loss from the product.
  2. The second one is that the product is defective. And that is usually found out when lawsuits are filed.
  3. The third element is that the defect, then, in some way, caused an injury to you or someone you know or someone you love.
  4. And the fourth one is that you were using the product as it was meant to be used.

So you can’t use a ladder and swing it at somebody and say, “Oh, the product was defective because I hit someone.” That’s not how it works. You have to use the ladder for its intended purpose, which is to climb it. And when you climb it, you have to climb it the appropriate way.

So these are the basic elements of proving a product liability case. In product liability, each one of them has to be met. And there are a lot of instances where this happens.


A client example

We had a client who was catastrophically injured. And we ended up helping him out. We got him a great settlement. He was riding on a bike that had been custom made for him. The seat was a bicycle seat that was custom made. And the custom bike manufacturer is a very big manufacturer. They made this seat for him.

It was said to withstand 350 pounds of pressure. The guy only weighed 180 pounds. He was riding down the street and the actual alloy on the seat that connects the seat to the bike frame broke. When it broke, he lost his balance, fell on the ground, broke one of his legs and four of his ribs on his left side.

We had to hire what’s called a metallurgist for this whole thing. And we found out that this seat was defective because it was made with defective material from China. We found out even more after some digging. The actual custom bike manufacturer had known about this defect but still put this product on the market.

So not only is the bike manufacturer going to be held accountable, but so is the person who sold the bike to our client. So we got a great settlement for that guy. We’re glad that we got him what we did. But this is just one example of the elements being met.


The four elements were all there

So in this instance, you basically had somebody who was injured. The product was defective. The alloy was defective in it. The defect caused the injury. The fracturing of the actual bike is what injured him. And he was using it as it was intended. He was riding his bike just like he was supposed to and he wasn’t doing anything else with it.

So each element was met, which is why the company was held liable and why they paid. If you have any other questions, I’d love to answer them. Ask away. That’s what this is all about. I look forward to talking to you soon.