One measure of product quality is how the manufacturer stands behind the item after it has been sold. Many, if not most, companies that make items intended for the consumer market have either express, or in some cases implied, warranties on what they make.
Warranties can be simple or complex. They can last for as few as 30 days or for as long as 10 years. In some fashion, regardless of the form that it takes, a product warranty can offer at least some protection to the purchaser if the product fails or does not meet reasonable performance expectations.
One limitation of warranties, though, is that they only cover the product. That is, warranty coverage will ordinarily apply to a manufacturer's willingness to either repair or replace defective merchandise or, in some cases, to accept a return in exchange for a refund of the purchase price.
But what happens if the product is so defective that the harm suffered by the consumer is more than disappointment or inconvenience? What happens if the product causes damage to your property or, worse, causes injury to you? Will a warranty cover these kinds of events?
The answer in almost all such cases is, "No."
The field of products liability law exists because of the unfortunate fact that sometimes products leave the factory having been so badly designed or poorly built, or both, that they are hazardous even when used properly by the consumer. The spate of automobile recalls last year for defective ignitions or defective airbags are but two examples of this phenomenon.
Even a factory recall does not guarantee that no harm will come from using inherently dangerous products. Sometimes, the reason that the recall takes place is because of the injuries or other damage already inflicted.
Just as being injured by a defective product is a more serious event than a warranty-based defect, it is also the case that making a products liability claim is much more complicated than pursuing a warranty claim. It takes the assistance of a law firm, such as that of Marynell Maloney, to properly initiate and effectively pursue claims against manufacturers of dangerous products.
To learn more about products liability in general, and how we can help if you have suffered harm, see our website.