Is that New Fad Diet a Liability?

ELI5: Negligence

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New year, new you, new fad diet. We see them all the time but not every fitness plan is safe. In fact there are many people who are marketing a diet plan that could be dangerous to your health. If you’re injured by a fad diet, do you know who to call?

What Is Product Liability?

When someone creates an unreasonably dangerous product, they’re liable for any injuries that their product causes. A product may be considered to be unreasonably dangerous if it poses an unforeseeable risk to the consumer when being properly used. For example, let’s say you, a consumer, purchase a floor lamp. However, that floor lamp randomly explodes, sending sparks everywhere. Floor lamps don’t normally explode, so a consumer shouldn’t have any expectation that their floor lamp would explode. Though whether or not the maker of the lamp had liability will depend on the circumstances, that lamp is an unreasonably dangerous product.

The party that’s liable for the injuries the unreasonably dangerous product causes can be found anywhere along the supply chain. From the manufacturing plant all the way up to the headquarters.

Manufacturing Defect

A manufacturing defect occurs when a product is manufactured in a way that renders the product unsafe. This can include assembly defects too; it doesn’t have to be every single product. If one product was assembled incorrectly, and that incorrect assembly caused the product to become unreasonably dangerous, a manufacturing defect may have occurred. Let’s say you decide to try a diet that involves eating microwavable meals, and you’re injured when one of those meals has a shard of metal mixed into the food. This may be an example of a manufacturing defect. When it comes to food, if it smells funny, tastes funny, or looks off, it may be in your best interest not to consume it, even if it hasn’t expired according to the expiration date. If there is a recall on any food items you’ve purchased, make sure you throw them out.

Design Defect

Design defects occur when there’s something wrong with the way the product was designed. This means that the design itself makes the product unreasonably dangerous. For example, you’re trying a new chocolate flavored weight loss shake that’s got a mysterious “energy boost” inside. That energy boost is great at preventing an afternoon crash, but it also causes nearly everyone who tries it to overdose on caffeine, requiring hospitalization. This chocolate weight loss shake may have a design defect because the formula was designed with an ingredient in the shake. This is different from a manufacturing defect because there wasn’t anything that went wrong during the manufacturing process. Instead, there was something wrong with the shake’s recipe; there was something wrong with the product’s design.

Marketing Defect

Marketing defects occur when the creators of the product fail to issue the ample instructions or safety warnings. If the latest and greatest weight loss product hits the market, but is not intended for children, that product needs to come with a warning that cautions users. If the product fails to mention that children should not use it, then the creators of the product could be liable for any injuries children endure because of it. Or, if the latest and greatest product causes a customer to sustain injury because the product didn’t have instructions, then that may be a marketing defect as well.

So, Who’s Liable?

Well, depending on the circumstances, many different parties could be liable if the latest fad diet turns out to be extremely dangerous. Other factors beyond those of a product creator may face liability as well. For example, if doctors begin to endorse the product, they could face liability if they endorse a product that they know, or reasonably should know, is dangerous. Doctors could face even more liability if they have a celebrity status or a large following on social media platforms.

Choosing the Right Diet

At Moxie Law Group, we think you’re perfect just the way you are. But if another person’s negligence has you feeling less than perfect, we may be able to help you. If you’ve sustained injury due to the negligence of another person, contact Moxie Law Group today for a free consultation. And if you’re starting a weightloss journey this year, it may be a good idea to consult a doctor first. A doctor can help you decide on a diet that’s right for you and your body. It’s always a good idea to follow your doctor’s advice when it comes to weight loss. There are many gimmicky weight loss programs out there so it’s important to choose one that will not jeopardize your health.

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