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Can I Sue for a Broken Condom?

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By Christopher Coble, Esq. on October 08, 2015 3:56 PM

You thought you were being safe, and now you're worried about STDs and a pregnancy. If a condom breaks during sex, the last thing from your mind might be a lawsuit.

But assuming the broken condom was an accident and not part of birth control sabotage, you may be able to sue for a broken condom. Here's what that lawsuit may look like and who may be liable:

Prophylactic Liability

The condoms will likely have a warning or a disclaimer on the package to protect the company against legal action. So be aware that the product may have functioned as advertised, even if it broke during use.

However, if a condom is poorly designed or if it malfunctions, the manufacturer could be held responsible under product liability law. Condom manufacturers have a duty to ensure their products are safe, and that they function as advertised.

So it's possible a manufacturer could be strictly liable if a person is injured by their product. There are three main types of product liability claims:

  • Defects in Design: The condom's design is faulty in a way that renders it unreasonably subject to failure;
  • Defects in Manufacturing: The condom is improperly manufactured in a way that departs from the intended design; or
  • Defects in Warnings: The condom lacks adequate instructions or warnings, the omission of which renders the product unsafe.

A condom could have a flawed design, be poorly manufactured, or lack proper warnings, leading to accidents or breakage. If this happens, the manufacturer could be liable for any injuries or damages.

Proving an Injury

For any injury lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove an injury and damages. This is fairly simple if the plaintiff has contracted an STD, as he or she can demonstrate testing and medication expenses.

In the case of an unwanted pregnancy, it may be harder. While there are wrongful pregnancy claims, these are normally used against doctors for not properly sterilizing patients. in order to bring a wrongful pregnancy lawsuit against a condom manufacturer, you may have to prove that the manufacturer owed you an elevated standard of care, and that it failed to meet that standard.

If you've had an unwanted pregnancy or contracted an STD because of a broken condom, you may want to talk to an experienced injury attorney near you.

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