There are countless products on the market for business, residential, commercial, and personal use. The manufacturers of these products have a duty to their consumers to produce items that perform as intended and pose no undue risks to users. Failing this, manufacturers of defective or unsafe products can be held accountable for injuries or damages that result from normal use of their products. Lawsuits of this nature fall under the purview of product liability law.
Navigating a Product Liability Claim
Due to the nature of modern business, it is highly likely that any given product available for purchase has passed through several entities between the initial production and release to the consumer for purchase. Typically, a given product will travel from the manufacturer of component parts to an assembly site, the assemblies may travel again for final construction, and then another party will finalize the product for use.
Another party may be responsible for packaging, and yet another entity will handle distribution to wholesalers. Those wholesalers will in turn supply the products to retailers for sale to consumers. As you can see, the potential is high for product liability claims to turn into complex affairs involving multiple entities.
To determine the parties responsible for damages, the injury-causing defect must be accurately assessed in order to appropriately assign fault for damages. Typically, a defective product will be defective in one of three ways:
- Defective design – Some flaw exists at the design level, meaning every product featuring that design is defective and has the potential to cause similar injuries.
- Defective manufacturing – There was some flaw during production that resulted in the injury-causing defect. Defects of this nature typically only affect specific lots of units or units produced in a specific timeframe.
- Defective or inaccurate marketing – The product was inaccurately represented with improper labeling, lack of safety indicators or instructions, or failure to warn end users of potential risks.
It’s important to note that some products are inherently dangerous due to their very nature. For example, vegetable knives are extremely sharp and intended for repeat use in the kitchen. If a consumer mishandles the knife, fails to follow the instructions for use, or uses the knife in a way that it was not intended to be used, the manufacturer cannot be held liable for resulting damages. The concept of “assumed risk” appears often in product liability claim cases. Some products are inherently dangerous if improperly used, and common sense dictates that consumers should not use such products for any uses other than their intended functions.
Winning Your Case
If you and your attorney are able to establish that the defending manufacturer released an unreasonably dangerous product and that product caused you injuries and damages, you will be able to collect compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and any other expenses resulting from the incident in question.
When product manufacturers become aware of a defect, they will assess how many units are affected and whether or not a recall is warranted. In some cases, manufacturers will weigh the cost of potential lawsuit settlements from future injuries against the cost of a recall and choose the cheaper option. A famous example of this would be the Ford Pinto, which would explode when struck at speed from the rear due to a poorly situated fuel tank. This is just one example of why product liability laws are crucial in our society: they help prevent dangerous products from proliferating and injuring others.
At the law firm of Anapol Weiss, we believe in providing every client with the full range of our abilities and resources. Legal representation should be uniquely tailored to each client, and we ensure that every possible avenue for compensation is thoroughly investigated to maximize our clients’ recovery and compensation. Contact our team for more information about product liability laws in Pennsylvania or for a consultation about your product liability claim in Philadelphia.