Are You Selecting the “Right” Expert for Your Product Liability Case?

TASA ID: 12079

One of the most important decisions to be made by counsel in any litigation is which expert or experts to retain. A primary consideration in this decision is to determine whether there are any potential specialties or sub-specialties involved that are of importance to your case. For instance, in a product liability case involving a consumer appliance, an expert who has had experience in the design and manufacture of similar appliances might be a more appropriate candidate as an expert than one who has not been so involved with these products or processes.

Development of a consumer appliance from concept to manufacture of a final product frequently begins with an idea generated by a company’s marketing department to fill a particular need. It then becomes the job of designers and engineers to develop a concept that will fulfill this need. An initial safety assessment is performed and all risks associated with the product identified and mitigated through: designing the risk out of the product: guarding against the risk: providing warnings, or some combination of these.

Cost estimates and market research are performed and eventually a final concept is chosen. This design then undergoes further safety analyses based on all applicableindustry safety standards as well in house knowledge of additional safety concerns. Visual and functional prototypes are constructed and rigorous testing to the prescribed safety and performance requirements is performed. Once the final design has met all safety and performance standards then quality, purchasing and manufacturing protocols are developed. After the product has been evaluated and listed by external testing agencies (such as Underwriter’s Laboratories Inc.), it can then be released for manufacture; this includes the fabrication of any required tooling and fixtures, in addition to the purchase of component parts and materials. A crucial further phase is to monitor and follow up on any safety, quality or performance issues that might arise after the product has been distributed into the stream of commerce.

An engineer directly involved in this design and manufacturing process will have knowledge and experience in how these types of appliances are produced as well as background in the types of decisions that were made into how a particular product was developed. For example:

  • Considerations that went into determining the materials used in the construction of the product.
  • Safety and performance standards that were considered.
  • Types of field failures or consumer issues, if any, encountered over the life cycle of the product.
  • Information that went into developing all markings, warnings and instructions included with the product.
  • Hands on testing and evaluation of the product and of its components, which provide an in-depth familiarity with the construction, performance and safety issues related to an appliance.

To read more, download the PDF below. 

Previous Article Standard of Care vs. Technical Deficiency
Next Article The Universal Protocol
Tasa ID12079

Documents to download

Theme picker


  • Let Us Find Your Expert

  • Note: This form is to be completed by legal and insurance professionals ONLY. If you are a party in a case that requires an expert witness, please have your attorney contact TASA at 800-523-2319.

Search Experts

TASA provides a variety of quality, independent experts who meet your case criteria. Search our extensive list of experts now.

Search Experts