When the unintended use of a product is reasonably foreseeable and injuries occur, the manufacturer may still be held liable for damages. Manufacturers have a responsibility to put safe products on the market, to adequately inform consumers about their appropriate use, and to warn people of any foreseeable risks.

What Is Product Liability?

Nevada law provides that manufacturers are financially liable for losses caused by their products. To recover damages, those injured must prove that the product was defective or unreasonably dangerous. There are three types of product defects that might lead to injuries and result in manufacturer liability – design, manufacturing, and marketing defects.

Design defects are flaws in product designs that affect all the products in a line and make them inherently dangerous. Manufacturing defects, on the other hand, occur during a product’s production and may only affect a small number of products. Despite solid design and assembly, some products may carry fundamental risks. Marketing defects occur when manufacturers do not adequately warn consumers about these risks, even if those risks are the result of unintended use.  

What Is Strict Liability?

Consumers may recover compensation for injuries caused by product defects under the strict liability theory. When a defective product causes injuries, victims do not have to prove that the designers, manufacturers, distributors, or retailers were careless or negligent. It only has to be shown that the defect caused the injuries.

What Constitutes Acceptable Product Misuse?

Although not part of the product’s intended use, some misuses are reasonably foreseeable. Therefore, consumers must be warned of the risks. For example, a knife-maker may be held financially accountable for injuries suffered by a consumer while attempting to open a can of food with the knife. Although the knife was not intended to be used for opening cans, the manufacturer could reasonably expect some consumers to use the knife for that purpose. Unless they caution against specific unintended uses, manufacturers may be held liable for failing to provide adequate warnings for products that cause injuries.

What Damages Are Available?

Those injured as a result of dangerous products may seek damages for a range of associated economic and non-economic losses. The types of losses they may receive compensation for include medical and rehabilitation expenses, the costs of mobility aids, lost wages, lost future earnings, pain and suffering, and loss of normal functioning.