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How do lawsuits help make safer products?

Product Liability FAQs

How do lawsuits help make safer products?  That’s a good question that’s often asked by many consumers.  And the answer really comes down to how do manufacturers view lawsuits.  They typically try to find a way to make their product better, to make it safer.

Sometimes lawsuits bring out defects in a product that a particular manufacturer may not have known about, and it prompts some changes.  It makes products safer.  A good example of this would be power windows in vehicles.  In the mid to late 90s power windows in vehicles could be activated accidentally by a child, and when that would happen, a child could get their arm, even their neck, caught into the power window, and it could result in severe injury, or even death to the child.  Manufacturers looked at that and said how can we resolve this issue, and it was a simple change to make the power window lever much safer so that it required someone to intentionally activate the power window to make it go up.

That’s an example of a lawsuit making a product much safer for everyone’s benefit, including manufacturers because lawsuits obviously cost manufacturers money, and so one of the things that is beneficial is  a cost risk benefit analysis.  It forces manufacturers to do that on a very specific level with a product.

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