Philadelphia Product Liability Attorney Serving Clients in Pennsylvania
Consumers in Philadelphia should be able to expect products to be safe for use. For example, when a consumer buys a household product at a retail store or picks up a prescription medication at a pharmacy, that consumer should not have to worry that the product contains a defect that will cause harm.
However, products frequently have defects that are hazardous to consumers. In many cases, these products ultimately are recalled and removed from the shelves, but not before people are exposed to the dangers posed by these products.
When a product harms a consumer, that injured party may be able to file a product liability lawsuit. A dedicated Philadelphia product liability lawyer at PhillyLaw can help with your claim.
What is Product Liability Law?
Product liability law is one area of personal injury law. According to the Cornell Legal Information Institute, “products liability refers to the liability of any or all parties along the chain of manufacture of any product for damage caused by that product,” which includes the designer of the product, the manufacturer of component parts, the assembling manufacturer, the wholesaler, and the owner of the retail store.
In Pennsylvania, product liability lawsuits operate according to a theory of strict liability. This means that the injured plaintiff does not have to prove that the defendant behaved in a negligent manner.
Instead, the plaintiff only needs to show that the defendant is connected to the product and its defect (as the designer, manufacturer, or seller), and then the law says that the defendant is strictly liable for the plaintiff’s injuries.
Different Categories of Philadelphia Product Liability Claims
There are three different categories of product liability lawsuits:
- Design defects: a defect occurs during the design phase of the product before it ever reaches a components manufacturer or assembling manufacturer. There is something inherently wrong with the product in its design, and no matter how well it is manufactured, the product will be defective.
- Manufacturing defects: a defect occurs at some point in the chain of manufacture. The defect might occur during the manufacture of one of the component parts, or it might occur during the assembly of the component parts. In a manufacturing defect case, there is nothing inherently wrong with the design of the product, but something went wrong in the manufacturing process that has resulted in the product posing a danger to consumers.
- Marketing defects or failure to warn: a defect occurs when the product is marketed. This type of product defect is often more difficult to understand because there is nothing wrong with the design or manufacture of the product. Instead, the product was marketed in a way that made it potentially unsafe. In many marketing defect cases, for example, the product did not contain proper warnings to the consumer about risks associated with the product.
A product liability attorney Philadelphia can assess your case and explain whether you have a design, manufacturing, or marketing defect claim.
Types of Philadelphia Product Liability Lawsuits We Handle
We assist clients with many different types of product liability claims, including but not limited to some of the following:
- Defective airbags in automobiles;
- Tire defects that cause tire blowouts;
- Tainted drugs that have been recalled;
- Defectively designed medications that produce harm;
- Defective birth control implants;
- Furniture that tips over and poses a risk of injury to children;
- SUV rollover cases;
- Children’s products that are marketed for young children but contain small parts that pose choking hazards;
- Electric blankets that cause electric shocks;
- Household cleaners that do not have adequate instructions for safely using the product in your home;
- Defective hip replacements;
- Defective knee replacements;
- Defective baby car seats;
- Cancer-causing pesticides;
- Cancer-causing talcum powder;
- Lawnmower defects;
- Defective children’s toys; and
- Defective kitchen appliances.
These are just some examples of product liability cases. A product liability lawyer Philadelphia can discuss the wide variety of cases we handle and can get started on your claim.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Philadelphia Product Liability Lawsuit?
Every personal injury lawsuit has a time limit when it comes to filing a lawsuit. This time limit is known as the statute of limitations. Under Pennsylvania law (42 Pa. Consol. Stat. § 5524(2)), the statute of limitations for a product liability lawsuit is two years.
As such, an injured plaintiff must file a lawsuit within two years from the date of the injury or else her claim will become a time-barred claim. When a claim becomes time-barred, the plaintiff is no longer able to seek compensation by filing a civil lawsuit.
While two years might seem like a significant amount of time, it is important for injured parties to know that the sooner you speak with our product liability lawyers Philadelphia about your claim, the quicker you may be eligible to receive compensation.
Comparative Negligence in Philadelphia Product Liability Claims
What happens if a plaintiff is partially to blame for her own injuries? For example, what if a plaintiff suffers an injury because of a defective medical device but waits to see a doctor and ends up with more severe injuries as a result of her delayed treatment?
What about a case in which a plaintiff misused a product and got hurt, but the product also had a design defect? These questions raises the issue of comparative negligence.
Under Pennsylvania’s comparative negligence law (42 Pa. Consol. Stat. § 7102), a plaintiff is still permitted to recover damages as long as she is not more responsible than the defendants. In other words, as long as the plaintiff is not 51 percent or more liable, she can recover.
However, her damages award will be reduced by her percentage of fault.
Comparative negligence is a defense raised by the defendant to avoid being responsible for all damages. It is important to understand that comparative negligence is only permitted as a defense in Pennsylvania product liability cases where the question of causation is at issue.
Discuss Your Case with a Philadelphia Product Liability Attorney
Were you injured by a defective or dangerous product? You may be eligible to file a product liability claim. An experienced Philadelphia product liability attorney can speak with you today about your case. Contact PhillyLaw to learn more about the services we provide to injured plaintiffs in Pennsylvania.