Defective / Dangerous Goods Cause Thousands of Injuries Every Year
All sorts of things we buy can have defects. The product liability case against Monsanto alleging undisclosed cancer-causing chemicals to have been present in the company’s famous weedkiller, Roundup. Many hundreds of other products are sold that can cause serious injury and even death.
Our personal injury attorneys have extensive experience handling product liability cases. Philly Injury Law will prove that your injury was caused by a defective product. We know the unique laws that apply to injuries caused by consumer goods that are defective.
When is a Company Liable for Injuries?
At least six agencies in the United States provide some level of consumer safety protections to prevent companies from selling products that can cause injuries without adequate warning to consumers. In most cases, proving a product liability case with an existing warning about the hazard is nearly impossible.
Unfortunately, many products on the market today do not have warning labels when they may, in fact, need them. The worst cases are those that involve deliberate intent on the part of a company to prevent the public from knowing the hazard they face. Most cases, though, are not intentional. But, even a product that is unintentionally defective and causes injury means the manufacturer can be held liable for damages.
In personal injury law, defective product claims do not need to prove intent or negligence on the part of the manufacturer. Companies are held to a standard of “strict liability” in regard to consumer products.
Pennsylvania has some of the most rigorous consumer protections in the nation. Recent Supreme Court decisions have strengthened plaintiffs cases. Even with these safeguards, companies will often fight to avoid taking responsibility.
In order to prove a valid claim, it is necessary to prove that:
- The product was defective
- You were using the product as intended
- You were injured
- The defective product caused your injuries
- Some defective products are obvious, while others are more difficult to prove. Philly Injury Law can help you and your family if you have been injured by a defective product.
Types of Defective Products
There are four types of product defect cases. The laws in Pennsylvania treat each aspect in a particular way. It is important to have excellent representation when arguing a product liability case. Philly Injury Law have decades of experience standing up for Pennsylvania consumers. These cases tend to become complex. Claims that go to trial will require expert testimony, and company lawyers will fight to discredit your claims to avoid taking responsibility for your injuries.
Defective Design Claims
Defective design claims arise when a product is manufactured in such a way as to present an unreasonable risk of harm. This can include things like children’s toys that have sharp edges or small, loose parts. It can also include things like agricultural equipment that does not have proper guards to prevent injury.
Proving a defective design claim requires that you demonstrate that the manufacturer made the product in such a way that it is unsafe for its intended use. Manufacturers are required to consider the dangers of the product not only for its intended use, but also misuse.
Manufacturing Defect Claims
Products that fail because of the materials or workmanship are defective. When a manufacturing defect causes an injury, the company that made the item is held responsible. Manufacturing defects can involve one erroneous unit, or they can encompass dozens of products built on the same line.
In order to prove a manufacturing defect claim, it is necessary to demonstrate how a product differs from the intended design. Food poisoning cases often fall within a manufacturing defect, as do defective automobile components.
A malfunction claim comes when a product fails due to a defect that is neither design or manufacturing related. Recently, a high number of malfunction claims concerning rechargeable vape pens have highlighted this particular aspect.
The key to malfunction claims is that circumstantial evidence is admissible. For example, if a vape pen caught on fire in a person's pocket and burned them, it is apparent that the pen malfunctioned. It does not need to be proven.
Warning Defect Claims
Consumers can’t make smart choices about products without knowing the risks and limitations. Warning labels help to let buyers know that a product may be unsafe, particularly when used improperly. When a product does not carry a warning about a hazard that should have been identified, the company that made the product can be held liable for injuries. Warning labels must also adequately warn or instruct the user to prevent accidental injury. Manufacturers that know of a danger and do not warn about it, they may also be held liable.
Two major cases in recent years involving Monsanto and Johnson & Johnson have shown the prevalence of warning label ire by manufacturers. In both cases, warning labels may have impacted sales of the product, but would have advised consumers of a possible risk of exposure to cancer-causing ingredients.
Why Do I Need an Expert Witness for a Defective Product?
An expert witness is someone that is hired to provide testimony in court or through deposition to attest to the defects of a product. An expert witness uses their knowledge of a subject to demonstrate to the court how the product is defective. An expert witness will be able to speak about industry standards and norms, display product blueprints or plans and reliably discuss them, and can explain highly technical and complex situations to describe how a product is defective.
An expert witness provides direct evidence of a defect to a court. This evidence describes how the intended product is defective in the case. A good expert witness can confirm exactly how a product is defective convincingly.
Lawyers representing the product manufacturer often target the testimony of expert witnesses. If the defense is able to convince the court that the expert witness is not credible or is relying on evidence that is not credible, that testimony can be removed or reduced from consideration. A successful defense attorney will win his case by proving that something other than the product being defective could have happened.
How Our Lawyers Can Help
Philly Injury Law have extensive relationships with the top experts in Philadelphia. We put together teams of experts and provide the overwhelming proof of a defective product. Our injury lawyers will see to it that you have the medical care and financial help you will need to recover from your injury. It is our mission to make sure that defective products are not allowed on the market. We fight on your behalf so that no one else has to be hurt, injured, or killed by a defective product.
Our risk-free consultation will give you an opportunity to share your case with our product liability lawyers. We will discuss with you what the best option moving forward will be, and show you how we will win your case.
Sometimes consumers purchase products that can cause injuries or illness. In these situations, the consumer is not without recourse -- the consumer can bring a product liability claim against the manufacturer or the seller of the product. However, these cases can be complicated and often involve legal expertise to understand how the law works and what your claim might be worth. Our product liability attorneys have years of experience handling these kinds of cases and are available to help you with your claim.
What Does Product Liability Mean Exactly ?
Product liability refers to the ability of a victim to recover from the manufacturer or seller of a product if that product caused a persons injury or illness because the product was improperly designed or poorly manufactured. This area of law does not cover instances in which a person is injured by improperly using the product; it only applies when the product was defective before it reached the consumer.
There are generally three different types of product liability claims that consumers can bring. The first type is called a design defect claim, in which the design of the product makes the product unsafe or dangerous. The second type is called a manufacturing defect claim, in which the product or part of the product malfunctions due to an error made when the product was initially manufactured. Finally, the third type is called a marketing product liability claim, in which a retailer or other party marketing the product fails to warn consumers about possible dangers when using the product, or fails to inform consumers about the correct and safe way in which to use the product.
Common types of product liability cases include faulty airbags that do not deploy and cause injury to the driver or passengers; industrial equipment that does not work as expected and can injure the worker using the equipment; brakes in a vehicle that do not engage and cause an accident or collision; or even childrens toys made with dangerous chemicals that can cause injury or illness if the child ingests the chemicals. Injuries resulting from these types of products can be severe, including loss of limbs, head or spinal cord injuries, serious illnesses, permanent disabilities, or even death in the worst cases. In each of these instances, victims can bring one or more of the types of product liability claims discussed above, depending on the particular facts of the case. The sooner you contact a qualified product liability attorney, the sooner your lawyer can help you determine which type of claim you will be able to bring based on the facts of your case.
When Should I Call a Product Liability Attorney
Our attorneys understand how devastating it can be to deal with the often serious and painful injuries that result from product liability claims. We all trust manufacturers and retailers to make and market safe products that will not cause harm to consumers when used properly, and it is often impossible to predict when a product could be dangerous due to a design or manufacturing problem. That is why our experienced product liability attorneys are here to help you with your case.
It can often be hard to show that your injuries were the result of a problem with the product itself, instead of resulting from some kind of misuse of the product. For example, the manufacturer may try to claim that it was not a manufacturing error that caused your injury, but instead that you did not properly use the industrial equipment, which is what caused your injury. Proving that the product was defective, either in design or in its manufacture, before the consumer used it usually requires the testimony of an expert who can explain that the products original design was faulty or that there was a problem with the manufacturing of that particular product, causing the victims injury. Finding a qualified expert can be challenging on your own, which is why it is important to have an experienced Philadelphia product liability lawyer helping with your case. Your lawyer will have the knowledge and experience to find qualified experts who can show that it was the product itself, and not your use of the product, that caused your injuries.
Your attorney can also help you determine how much your claim is worth. Product liability claims can include your actual damages (such as your medical bills and property damage sustained because of the faulty product), as well as other damages like pain and suffering and even lost wages if you were unable to return to work as a result of your injuries. Your lawyer will help you gather evidence of your injuries and other damages to ensure that you receive the correct amount of compensation for your injuries.
Finally, your lawyer will be able to determine who is legally liable for your injuries. If your claim is a design defect claim, you will likely be pursuing compensation from the company who designed the product. But if your claim is a manufacturing claim, you will be holding the manufacturer responsible; and if your claim is a marketing related claim, you may be looking to the retailer or other parties responsible for marketing the product to consumers. It can sometimes be difficult to determine all of the different parties involved in the creation and sale of a product, which is why the help of an experienced product liability lawyer can be invaluable when bringing your claim against the responsible party.
Our lawyers know how stressful it is to deal with recovering from your injuries while at the same time trying to pursue a claim against the party responsible for your injuries. That is why, when you call our office, we will set up a free initial consultation at our offices, or at your home or hospital room if you cannot travel. We want you to know that we are on your side -- and never the side of corporations or manufacturers -- and will fight on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve. Do not hesitate to contact our office right away to speak with an experienced product liability attorney.