There are three general types of product defects for which a manufacturer may be held strictly liable:
Construction/Manufacturing Defects [Restatement 2d Section: 402(a)] A manufacturing defect involves a product that is normally safe, but because of a mistake or error was defectively constructed.
1. A manufacturer is strictly liable when it sells a product in a defective condition that is unreasonably dangerous to a consumer or a consumer’s property if:
the seller is regularly engaged in the business of selling this product; and
the product reaches the ultimate consumer without any substantial change in the condition in which it was sold.
No privity is required between the manufacturer and the plaintiff. However, the manufacturer is not liable if the plaintiff used the product in an abnormal manner.
Generally, a plaintiff has to prove that:
the defendant manufactured the product;
the product was defective; Some courts require a plaintiff to show that it was unreasonably unsafe, i., dangerous beyond what ordinary users would expect. Others allow res ipsa loquitur to be used to infer defectiveness;
the product was both the actual and proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury; and
the defect existed at the time the product left the defendant’s factory/control. Courts will usually allow an inference of this fact.
Design Defects Design defects involve products that are manufactured according to plan, but are defective because they were improperly planned.