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Some equate product failure with product defect. The failed product that causes property damage or personal injury is called “defective.” Some product liability lawsuits are premised on the mere fact of product failure without consideration of the operational life expectancy of the product. Courts, however, have recognized that products are not expected to last forever, and may fail due to ordinary wear and tear. In order to establish liability, a threshold hurdle is proof of premature failure. By definition, a product that fails after its design operational life expectancy cannot be considered a premature failure.

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