Where human beings are concerned, there are going to be errors. Manufacturing the many products on the market today, and in the quantity required for the vast American population, such errors are inevitable. However, when those defects endanger the life of a consumer of that product, the errors are unacceptable. Such errors are called fatal defects, and if they result in the wrongful death of the consumer, there are personal liability laws to address that loss and compensate the survivors. Not only that, but if there are life threatening defects that are discovered in a product, even if they have not yet proved fatal to a consumer, there may be serious consequences for the manufacturer and even the sellers of the product.
Manufacturers and sellers of products have a responsibility to the consumer to make only safe products available to the public. In addition, while no manufacturer is perfect, when product defects are found, the consumer has the right to be compensated for any injuries that those defects produce. In a worst-case scenario, if there are life-threatening defects in a product, and a consumer dies as a result of their use of that product, that manufacturer can be charged with fatal defect liability, or wrongful death.
If a product is found to have fatal defects, and a manufacturer is found guilty of fatal defect liability, there are a number of remedies for the consumer or their survivors. There are also a number of fatal defect consequences for the manufacturer, which include the following, among others:
Medical and funeral expenses, when applicable
Loss of income, parental guidance, or consortium for the survivors
Compensation for pain and suffering by the deceased before they died, including how much they knew of their impending death and how much that knowledge caused them to suffer
Even in cases where the fatal defect merely could have caused the death of the consumer but did not do so, the manufacturer may be required to pay punitive damages for the seriousness of the defect.