Free Consultation | No Fee Until We Win
Se Habla Español

Manufacturers' responsibility for consumer safety

The basic premise of any personal injury suit is that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff and breached it. When the case involves a product injuring someone, many questions can arise as to the manufacturer's responsibility.

Generally, manufacturers must put out products that are reasonably safe for consumers to use. Depending on the specific product, this can mean several very different things.

Faulty products

One way a product can become unsafe is through a design or manufacturing defect. For example, defective brakes or engine parts can make operating a car very dangerous. These faults are defects because no manufacturer would - or should - set out to purposely put unsafe car parts on the market.

Products can be dangerous even without defects

Other types of products may present dangers even with proper design and manufacturing. Power tools, lighters and common kitchen appliances are just a few of the many items that can inflict serious injuries. The law does not demand that these items be completely safe, because a manufacturer could not do that without also making it impossible to use the product as intended. No one would want to purchase a circular saw that could not cut anything.

Proper warnings and other precautions

However, in such cases, state and federal laws can require manufacturers to take into account predictable ways in which consumers might use the item unsafely and provide safeguards, often in the shape of conspicuous, clear warnings against foreseeable dangers. This requirement is why, for example, toys containing small pieces typically feature a warning for choking hazards and an instruction to keep the toy away from children under the age of three. Packaging can also play a role in preventing injuries.

Manufacturer can face liability even in cases of misuse

Sometimes a consumer may misuse an item in a way the instructions or the warnings on the packaging do not cover. In such a case, courts may look at whether this misuse was foreseeable. If it was, the manufacturer may have failed in its duty to guard against foreseeable harm.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Avvo | Top Attorney Personal Injury
Avvo | Clients Choice 2012

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

To schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys, call 916-596-2761 or contact us by email.

  • Home and weekend appointments are available.
  • We handle cases on a contingency basis, which means you do not pay us until we win.
  • Se habla español.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy


Piering Law Firm
775 University Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95825

Phone: 916-596-2761
Fax: 916-446-1222
Sacramento Law Office Map

Map and Directions
Review Us