Unavoidably Unsafe Products

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Products that are deemed unavoidably unsafe are not considered to be defective products under very specific guidelines. One of the most important questions that needs to be answered during a product liability case is whether or not the product in question is actually a defective product. If the product is not defective than the product liability case will more than likely go nowhere. There are a couple of ways that a product can be defective. Those ways are if a product is marketed with inadequate instructions or warnings as to foreseeable risks, if a product is manufactured with a flaw, and if a product is designed in a way that a foreseeable injury could result then the product is deemed as a defective product. Only one of these circumstances must be met for a product to be declared defective by the courts. So, a product can be defective in one or more ways; in its marketing, its manufacturing, or its design. If a product is deemed to be defective, the court will determine how it is defective and who is liable; the marketer, the manufacturer, or the designer. Unavoidable unsafe is something totally separate from defective products and the courts of the United States have made sure that they differentiate from the two. A product that is unavoidably unsafe is not necessarily a product that is made to be intentionally unsafe. Rather, it is a product that is made unsafe because of its nature of use. So what is the difference between a dangerous product and an unavoidably unsafe product? It comes down to four criteria.

The four criteria for determining whether a product is dangerous or unavoidably unsafe are the manner in which the product was prepared, the manner in which the product was marketed, the utility of the product compared to the risk it poses and whether there are any alternatives to the product available.

Preparation: when a product is in the process of manufacturing and a mistake is made and that mistake makes the product ineffective or dangerous, then the product does not fall under the unavoidably unsafe jurisdiction.

Marketing: if a product is not marketed properly then it might not fall under the unavoidably unsafe jurisdiction. Such mistakes in marketing include not having the proper instructions in the packaging or not providing the proper warnings with the product.

Utility vs. Risk: the third requirement of unavoidably unsafe is that the product’s utility must outweigh the product’s risk of danger. Products such as birth control medication and beauty products have been found to be sufficiently useful despite their known risks.

Available Alternatives: if there is no other way of fully achieving the intended purpose of the product than the product might be deemed unavoidably unsafe. If there is an alternative product that would be as effective as the product in question and is safer, than the product in question might not fall under the unavoidably unsafe jurisdiction

Some of the most common and widely known examples of unavoidably unsafe products are prescription medications, dry cleaning solvents, hair bleach, hair dye, acetone, industrial strength bathroom cleaning products, permanent wave solutions and benzene.

Have you or a loved one been injured by an unavoidable unsafe product or a dangerous product? Contact an experienced products liability attorney regarding your legal rights and options about your case today.

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