Georgia’s product liability laws protect residents from dangerous items. Products may develop flaws in various levels of conception, production and selling. Sometimes, these flaws are mild and only cause inconveniences.
Other times, they can result in serious and lasting damage to users. Product design defects make up one category of flaws.
What is a design defect?
Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute describes a design defect as an issue with the product design itself. A design defect occurs when the product poses a foreseeable risk. This risk exists despite the manufacture and production proceeding as intended.
Design issues differ from manufacturing defects, where the flaw lies in the production and execution of the product. They also differ from marketing defects. With these, the sold item is safe, but the packaging does not explain how to safely use it.
What is a product liability claim?
FindLaw explains that a strict liability claim in Georgia requires proof that the defendant manufactured the product, it was defective when the manufacturer shipped it to the wholesaler, retailer or consumer, and the defect itself caused an injury. The plaintiff has to show that the manufacturer intended to produce the item as it is, rather than proving that the defect occurred during production.
What is the statute of limitations?
How long a consumer has to file the claim depends on the damages. If the product caused an injury, then the plaintiff must sue within two years of discovering the injury and the role of the defect in causing it. If the product caused only property damage, then the limit is four years. However, if the damage occurred more than 10 years after the purchase of the product with a faulty design, the consumer cannot sue.