Products Liability Versus Medical Malpractice


At first glance, one might wonder why this question is frequently asked. Products liability handles issues about goods that have injured person and or property; a toaster, blender, or coffee pot malfunctions and hurt someone. If a doctor or some other sort of medical professional deviates from the standard of care owed to the patient and the patient is thereby hurt, medical malpractice laws will be used to litigate the claim.

The experienced Kingston medical malpractice attorney knows that numerous different types of products are used by medical professionals when treating patients. Therefore, when a patient is injured during the course of treatment by a product, one must investigate to see if the doctor did something wrong or if the product caused the patient’s injury. In some cases, it could be both.

Let us first talk about products liability. There are three categories of problems that arise in the arena of defective products; design defect, manufacturing defect, and defective warning. The names give people a good idea as to where the problem lies.

A good example of a design defect is the recent GM ignition switch problem. No matter how perfectly the product was put together, it would never work properly because its design was faulty.

Consider a hypothetical example of safety valve failure that hurt a worker. The valve was installed on a machine so that steam will be released from the machine when pressure reached a certain level. If the steam was not released, the machine would explode. The valve manufacturer left out a key component when building the valve to save money with the erroneous thought that the key part was not needed. The machine ended up exploding at a factory and a worker was hurt. Do you see how this is a manufacturing defect case?

Real quick, failure to warn cases are about a company’s failure to warn users of dangers associated with using their product. Failures to warn fall within products liability laws.

Medical malpractice is negligence committed during the course of patient care. All of the tools that doctors use have the potential of being defectively designed and or defectively manufactured. Doctors, nurses, and patients may not have been properly instructed by the manufacturer as to using the device properly; they might not have been warned of possible dangers.

How does one know if the injury was caused by product defect or by medical malpractice? What is certain is that denials will be across the board; the doctor and manufacturers will deny wrongdoing. The injured patient will have to file suit against all parties in order to flush out the truth.

But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at