How Does the California Law Defines Product Liability

In California law, products liability is defined as the accountability of all the responsible parties engaged in the production or manufacture of certain goods for any harm or damaged brought about by the said products. The parties that may be held liable include the producer of the component parts, the product assembler, the wholesaler and the product retailer. Usually, the products that contain any intrinsic defect or manufactured without following the accepted standards can be subjected in a product liability lawsuit if it has caused harm to the customer or end user. Generally, products liability covers tangible things such as food, appliances and equipment. However, this has extended to include the following:

 Intangibles: gas

 Naturals: animals, plants

 Real estate: houses, buildings, dormitories

 Writings : maps, navigational chart

Furthermore, the U.S. states have ratified various provisions to deal with products liability. Depending on the state where the cases happen, products liability actions are based on neglectful acts, strict liability or warranty violation. On the other hand, the Department of Commerce has developed a standard outline for products liability law, the Model Uniform Products Liability Act (MUPLA), which can be utilized by the states.

To have a good products liability claim, the injured victims must be able to prove the defects on the product. These include design defect, manufacturing or production defect and marketing defect. Defects that are inherent or present on the product even before it has been assembled are deemed design defects. For example, a chair design with thin leg to support the weight of a person can be risky to use. Meanwhile, manufacturing defects depends on the assembly or production of the goods; whether the workers follow the standard procedures or not. Finally, marketing defects imply the failure to indicate the hazards of the product or giving the customers incorrect instructions on how to use the item.

Normally, “strict liability rule” applies in a products liability case. Here, the accountability of the defendant does not rely much on the level of safety or caution that he or she performs but rather on the product defect itself. Hence, if the product defect is indeed the reason for an individual’s affliction, the defendant should pay damages to the victim.

As we can see, the law regarding products liability has many intricate provisions and complicated rules. Thus, most of the injured victims appoint their respective product liability lawyer to guide and represent them in pursuing their cases. A notable and experience legal counsel is proven to be an asset in any legal undertaking. He or she can also assure the claimants of having increased chances of obtaining favorable verdicts and bigger amount of compensations.

3 Examples of Using Parkinson’s Law – To Boost Your Productivity

If you’ve learned about Parkinson’s Law, you know that limiting the time available for a task will get the task done faster. If you haven’t learned Parkinson’s Law, it states: “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” What that means is if you have 5 hours to do a task, you’ll finish it in 5 hours. If you have 10 hours to do a task, you’ll finish it in 10 hours.

You can see the difference yourself. If a task normally takes you 30 minutes to finish, try setting a time limit to finish it in 20 minutes. Your brain will figure out a way to get it done in 20 minutes. And you’ll find yourself working more productively. But a key point is that you must take the time limit seriously. Otherwise you’ll take it easy and break the limit of time you set.

To take advantage of Parkinson’s Law to boost your productivity, set reasonably tighter time limits or deadlines to your tasks or projects.

Now you know what Parkinson’s Law is, what are some examples of where you can apply it?

1. Routine tasks. Let’s say you’re washing the dishes. If it normally takes you 30 minutes to finish washing them, try getting it done in 25 minutes instead. Finish washing the dishes within the 25-minute limit. Or if you’re doing grocery shopping, set a tighter limit of time to finish your grocery shopping.

2. Writing. If you’re writing a book and you’re writing 5 pages a day, set a time limit to finish writing those 5 pages. Let’s say it takes you 2 hours to write 5 pages. You might set a limit of time of 1.5 hours.

3. To-do lists. On your to-do list, set a reasonably tight time limit for each item. Write down the limit of time next to each item. Then try to finish each item within the time limit you set.

Products Liability Law – Defective and Dangerous Products


Clients often sit down with me at an initial meeting, describe their accident and a feature or component of a “product” and ask “do I have a case?” The answer to that question most often turns on whether the product or its component can be characterized as “defective”. A recent product recall by a large manufacturer provides an excellent learning tool on this topic.

In November, 2009, Maclaren, USA, Inc. issued a “voluntary” recall of several models of “umbrella” style baby strollers. As designed, manufactured and sold, the strollers had exposed “shear points” at the hinges. This design defect caused twelve reported cases in which infants’ fingertips were amputated in the shear point. According to news reports, these strollers were manufactured in China and distributed by Maclaren USA, Inc.

Under Pennsylvania and New Jersey law, product defects fall into three general categories:
(1) Design defects;
(2) Manufacturing defects/aka malfunctions; and
(3) Failure to warn.

The Maclaren baby stroller defect is a classic example of a design defect. A product is defective when it contains any component or feature which makes it unsafe for its intended use or anticipated misuse, or if it is lacking any feature necessary to make it safe. The exposed shear point obviously is a feature which makes the stroller unsafe. This is a classic “design defect” case.

Products are defective due to a “manufacturing defect” or “malfunction” when there is a flaw in the manufacture or construction of the particular product involved in the accident. A hypothetical example is a lightweight aluminum product such as a bicycle handlebar. Some of these products are designed to be as light as possible. The design involves portions of the handlebars which have very thin aluminum walls. These are generally safe if the manufacturing process is perfect. However, if an air bubble, grain of sand or other impurity gets into the aluminum at a stress point, this can cause a sudden, catastrophic failure of the bar. While the design is arguably sound, the presence of the flaw in the manufacturing process of the particular item makes that product defective.

Another way in which a product can be deemed defective is the failure to warn of potential dangers in the use of a product or the failure to provide the proper instructions as to the product’s safe use. An example here would be a manufacturing machine that has moving parts that can snag on loose clothing such as shirtsleeves or frayed work gloves. While such a product would likely be deemed defective in design, the failure to warn the users to avoid loose clothing and frayed gloves could also be considered a defect.

The examples of product defects are as varied as products themselves. Placing an emergency stop switch more than an arm’s length from an in-running pinch point on an industrial machine is a design defect. Designing a child’s toy with small pieces that can break off and choke a child is a design defect. Designing a farm tractor without an operator presence control that would shut the engine down if the operator left the operating station of the tractor is a design defect.

A wooden stepstool which is perfectly proper in design is defective if insufficient glue is used to assemble it. Metal scaffolding materials are defective if the welds are improper, causing the framing to fail under stress.

With the increasingly global nature of our economy, more and more products and component parts are being manufactured in foreign countries where labor costs are very low. Quality control systems in these countries and these factories are often below United States standards. With this, the incidence of manufacturing defects and malfunctions increases.

Also, big box discount stores often sell low price products that are designed and manufactured overseas. These products are often packaged with the intention that they will be sold in many countries. Sometimes, the warnings and instructions are formatted in such a way to have application in many countries which speak many languages. This can result in instructions and warnings that are very difficult to understand. This can constitute a warnings defect.

Bottom line, it is difficult to provide a universal description of a product defect. Each case, and each product, ordinarily must be evaluated on its own terms. An experienced attorney familiar with products liability law will often be able to give you a preliminary evaluation of whether a product is or is not “defective”. However, the opinion of a qualified expert witness or consultant is sometimes required before even a preliminary opinion or evaluation of a given case can be given.

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