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Could a design defect have caused loved one's wrongful death?

Trying to pick up the pieces after the unexpected death of a loved one isn't an easy task. There is much to deal with after the passing of a loved one and it isn't always easy. That being said, not all deaths are necessary or unpreventable. Sometimes a person's death is due to the negligence of others.

If you suspect that this may be true of the death of your loved one, read on. There are many ways in which other people or even businesses could have been responsible for a person's death. This is because people and businesses owe a duty of care, at a bare minimum, to ensure that instances of unnecessary death do not happen. If a person or company fails to do this, they could be held liable for that person's wrongful death.

Design defects fall under the category of products liability and occur when the design of something (usually a consumer product or possibly a work machine) is inherently dangerous and this malfunction led to a person's death. Certain manufacturers are even held to strict liability standards when it comes to products liability and defective products, and must adhere to an even higher standard. Strict liability applies when a manufacturer places a defective product that poses an unreasonable danger in the marketplace. In other words, the plaintiff argues that the risks of the product coming into contact with its user outweighs its benefit to the consumer.

There are a few ways one can look at a defunct design and apply it to products liability claims or even strict liability. Foreseeable risk must be present for product to be deemed a design defect. This means that the risk should have been known to exist in instances when a consumer would use the product for its intended use. The principles of products' liability law can help families recover after the wrongful death of their loved one.

Source: injury.findlaw.com, "Defects in Design," Accessed August 21, 2017

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