de·fect1 / ˈdēˌfekt/ • n. a shortcoming, imperfection, or lack. de·fect2 / diˈfekt/ • v. [intr.] abandon one's country or cause in favor of an opposing one: he defected to the Soviet Union after the war. DERIVATIVES: de·fec·tion / diˈfekshən/ n. de·fec·tor / -tər/ n.
Imperfection, flaw, or deficiency.
That which is subject to a defect is missing a requisite element and, therefore, is not legally binding. Defective service of process, for example, is service that does not comply with a procedural or jurisdictional requirement. A defective will is one that has not been properly drawn up, has been obtained by unlawful means, or does not comply with a particular law. In some cases, however, defects can be cured; for example, defective service of process can be cured by the service of an amended complaint.
In product liability, a defective product is one that cannot be used for the purposes intended or is made dangerous as a result of a flaw or imperfection. Such a defect might exist in the entire design of a product or in the production of a particular individual product. A latent defect is one that is not readily observable by the buyer of an item, whereas a patent defect is obvious or immediately apparent upon observation.
A fatal defect is one that, due to its serious nature, serves to nullify a contract.