As consumers, we have the right to expect that the goods we purchase are safe. Unfortunately, many products sold for use in homes or businesses are rife with hazards and defects which can injure, maim, or kill innocent victims.
If you or someone you love was hurt by a defective or dangerous product, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses, pain, and suffering through a product liability claim. Manufacturers and retailers have a duty to keep their products safe for consumers, and may be held liable for compensating any deaths or injuries which occur as a result of flawed design, fabrication, or storage. The attorneys at Reiff & Bily can help. Even if you are not certain that the product was wholly at fault for the injury or death, you should still consult with our attorneys as the law does not require defective products to be 100% at fault for injuries.
Our Pennsylvania product liability attorneys have over 30 years of experience and have recovered millions of dollars in damages for our clients. However, you have only a limited amount of time to file your claim, so it is essential that you contact us as soon as possible. To arrange for a free and private case evaluation, call our law offices at 215-274-0072 today.
Types of Product Liability Claims Our Attorneys Handle
Product liability claims typically fall into three categories: manufacturing defects, design defects, and failures to warn. How are these claims different?
- Manufacturing defects occur when products differ from the intended design, and the defect causes bodily injuries or death. For example, if a manufacturer of packaged foods permits bacteria, glass or other contaminants to spoil its products, a consumer that is sickened by the product may have a manufacturing defect claim.
- Design defects occur when products present a safety hazard as designed, such as when a circular saw lacks a safety guard. With their high centers of gravity and weak crush-prone roofs, 15-passenger vans are another example of defective design.
- Failures to warn occur when the manufacturer does not provide adequate warnings or instructions to caution the consumer of a known danger, such as a child’s toy which does not contain warnings about choking or suffocation hazards. Pennsylvania’s product laws also provide that manufacturers and suppliers may even be found liable if a product was not being used in the way it was intended, deeming these warnings so important. In addition to clearly labeled warnings, certain products must also list age-related restrictions regarding sale, use, or purchase. Failure to provide these warnings may constitute a product defect regardless of if the product was being used correctly or if the product was being misused.
Product liability cases can include a wide range of consumer goods and industrial products, including but not limited to:
- Defective cars and car parts, including faulty seat belts, brakes, air bags, and tires.
- Dangerous toys, including toys made with lead paint or small magnetic pieces.
- Faulty electrical products.
- Malfunctioning elevators and escalators.
- Defective household appliances, such as toaster ovens or coffee makers.
- Defective medical devices, such as pacemakers or implants.
- Dangerous prescription drugs, over-the-counter cough and cold medications, and dietary supplements.
What are Your Legal Rights as a Consumer?
Product liability law is quite complicated, and proving that a product is defective or that the fault lies with the manufacturer or supplier, is often a difficult feat. These types of litigations take strenuous and thorough investigations and follow a precise set of laws, laid out by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Recently the Pennsylvania Supreme Court announced new standards for strict liability claims. The previous law focused on the plaintiff proving that the product was unreasonably dangerous, however, the new laws are not so subjective. As the law states now, if you file a product liability claim, you must prove that the product is in a “defective condition”. There are two ways in which you can prove “defective condition”: either that the average consumer couldn’t have predicted or known the risk, or that the average consumer concluded that the likelihood of harm outweighs the cost of taking precautions.
What a consumer, like you, should take away from these new changes in liability law is that it is now harder for plaintiffs to recover compensation for strict liability claims. Therefore it is extremely important to have an experienced and knowledgeable attorney, who has an extensive background, as well as an understanding of the most current liability standards.
Contact the Philadelphia Product Liability Lawyers
The Pennsylvania product liability lawyers at Reiff & Bily have over 90 collective years of experience and know how to investigate claims to the fullest. Along with our extensive legal background, we strive to help our clients recover physically, emotionally, and financially in any way that we can and fight so that they can begin the healing process. If you or someone you love has been injured because of a faulty product, design flaw, or malfunction, call our law offices at 215-274-0072, and speak to a lawyer for free today.