Zealous Advocates for Those Injured by Defective Products – Pennsylvania Product Liability Lawyers
When you purchase a product, you probably presume that the product can be safely used for the purposes that you purchased the product. Unfortunately, more than twenty thousand consumers per year are killed by dangerous or defective products and almost 30 million people suffer injury because of defective products. Although many consumer products are subject to safety standards promulgated by the Consumer Protection Safety Administration (CPSC), sometimes product manufacturers fail to adhere to these safety regulations and standards. This is an increasing problem as more products are being imported from China and other countries with lax safety standards. There are other situations where people are injured because recalls of consumer products are not implemented promptly.
Product liability law is the area of law that provides personal injury compensation to those who are injured by defective products. Our experienced NEPA product liability lawyers at Dougherty, Leventhal and Price LLP are committed to holding manufacturers accountable for shortcuts in the design or manufacturing of products that put profits above consumer safety. We work closely with engineers and industry experts to determine the most compelling litigation strategy for our clients who are injured by unsafe products. When you are injured by a defective product, it is important to work closely with a law firm with extensive experience handling product liability lawsuits because these cases frequently involve litigation against large corporations with extensive litigation resources. Effective litigation of product liability cases also requires extensive understanding and experience with complex engineering and manufacturing processes.
If you are injured by a defective product, you may have the right to seek compensation from anyone in the production or distribution chain of the product. This may include a wide spectrum of business entities, including the entity that designs, manufactures, distributes or markets the defective product. The purpose of product liability law is to force product manufacturers to bear the cost of injury caused by their harmful products. A product liability lawsuit may be based on one of three separate legal theories: (1) strict liability, (2) negligence and (3) breach of warranty.
Strict Liability: When a product contains a defect that causes injury to a consumer, it can be difficult to determine the precise negligent conduct in the process of designing, manufacturing or marketing the product that caused the defect which resulted in injury. Because the process of designing, producing or retailing a product is beyond the influence or control of consumers, strict liability shifts the responsibility for defective products back to the entities associated with bringing the product to market. Strict liability essentially allows a consumer to assert a product liability lawsuit without a requirement of proving specific negligent conduct that caused the particular defect. In product liability lawsuits based on strict liability, a consumer need only show that the product was in fact defective when it left the manufacturer’s control and that the product caused the consumer’s injuries.
Negligence: There are some situations where the negligent conduct that led to a defect in a product can be proven. Those in the production and distribution network for a product are expected to exercise reasonable care to avoid injury to consumers caused by their product. The failure to exercise such care may be the basis for imposing liability in a product liability lawsuit. This negligence may be in the design specifications, manufacturing process, inspection of the product or the instructions and warnings regarding proper safe use of the product.
Breach of Warranties: Warranties may be express warranties provided by the manufacturer or implied warranties imposed by the operation of law. Implied warranties include the warranty or merchantability that basically provides that a product is consistent with a consumer’s basic expectations and will function as expected when used the way it is normally intended. When the product violates either express or implied warranties and causes injury this may also be the basis for liability in a Pennsylvania product liability lawsuit. Sometimes this basis of liability can be difficult to assert because of disclaimers provided on the products packaging.
There are essentially three types of defects that may cause injury to a consumer and form the basis for a product liability lawsuit in Pennsylvania: (1) design defects, (2) manufacturing defects and (3) defective warnings.
Design Defects: A design defect is inherent in the product even when the manufacturing process occurs without incident. The defect is present in all units of the product even when the product is manufactured in precise compliance with the product specifications. A product may be determined to have a design defect when there is a reasonably safe alternative which could have been manufactured that would have prevented injury to consumers.
Manufacturing Defects: With this type of defect, the basic design of the product may be safe, but flaws occur in the actual manufacturing process, which make the product dangerous to consumers. This type of defect occurs because some or all units of the product deviate from the design specifications. While properly implemented inspection procedures may reveal this type of defect before it leaves the manufacturer’s control, the failure of quality control procedures to prevent unsafe products with this type of defect from leaving the control of the manufacturer may be the basis of a product liability lawsuit.
Defective Warnings: Some products may be dangerous when used in ways that are not intended but are foreseeable. A product manufacturer is expected to provide reasonable warnings and instructions regarding safe use of the product. If there is a foreseeable risk of misuse that may cause serious injury, a product manufacturer should warn consumers of this risk. An obvious example would be a toy that may pose a choking hazard to small children.
There are virtually unlimited types of defective products that may cause an injury to consumers. Our experienced Pennsylvania product defect lawyers have handled many product defect claims for clients who have been injured by unsafe products. Some common types of products that are often involved in Pennsylvania product defect lawsuits include:
- Children’s toys or safety equipment (e.g. car seats, cribs, play pens)
- Vehicle components and systems
- Dangerous drugs
- Space heaters
- Consumer electronics
- Medical appliances
- Toxic or hazardous chemicals or substances
If you or a close family member is injured by a product, it is important to keep all parts of the product and any packaging. This often is key evidence in establishing liability in a Pennsylvania defective product lawsuit. Defective products can cause catastrophic injuries, such as suffocation, third degree burns, broken bones, severe disfigurement and even wrongful death. Our Pennsylvania product liability law firm has the extensive resources, full spectrum of experts and many years of expertise necessary to provide persuasive advocacy for those who suffer serious injury caused by defective products.
We invite you to Contact Us Online or call us toll free at (877) DLP-9700 or (877) 357-9700 or visit us at one of our conveniently located offices in Moosic, Kingston, Honesdale or Hazleton. We serve all of Northeast Pennsylvania (NEPA) including but not limited to the following counties: Lackawanna County, Luzerne County, Wayne County, Pike County, Monroe County, Carbon County, Wyoming County, Susquehanna County and Columbia County. Call us today to see how we can help!