Pittsburgh Defective Products Attorney
Pennsylvania Product Liability Lawyer
Defective or dangerous products are the cause of many thousands of injuries every year. "Product liability law," the legal rules concerning who is responsible for defective or dangerous products, is different from ordinary injury liability law, and the “products liability law” sometimes makes it easier for an injured person to recover damages. As a consumer you have a right to be safe whether you are using a piece of gym equipment, heavy machinery or a household product. It is important to deal with an attorney who has experience with defective product law and product liability law.
WHAT IS PRODUCT LIABILITY?
Product liability refers to a manufacturer or seller being held liable for placing a defective product into the hands of a consumer. Responsibility for a product defect that causes injury lies with all sellers of the product who are in the distribution chain. When you have been injured by a defective or dangerous product, potentially liable parties include:
- The manufacturer
- The manufacturer of component parts
- The wholesaler
- The retail store that sold to the product.
In general terms, the law requires that a product meet the ordinary expectations of the consumer. When a product has an unexpected defect or danger, the product cannot be said to meet the ordinary expectations of the consumer.
PENNSYLVANIA PRODUCT LIABILTY LAW
There is no federal product liability law. Pennsylvania law of strict product liability is based on Sec. 402A of the Restatement (2d) of Torts. Under the Pennsylvania law of strict product liability, a manufacturer/supplier of a product is the guarantor of its safety. The manufacturer/supplier is liable for any harm that a defect in its product was a substantial factor in bringing it about. A defect may be found where the product left the manufacturer and supplier's control lacking any element necessary to make it safe for its intended use or possessing any feature that rendered it unsafe for the intended use. Intended use includes any reasonably foreseeable use or misuse of a product.
A defective condition, creating strict liability, is not limited to defects in the design or manufacture of a product. The manufacturer and supplier of a product must also provide such warnings and instructions as are necessary to inform the user or consumer of the possible risks and inherent limitations of the product in a form that will reach the consumer. If there are no warnings or instructions included with the product, this may be considered a defect.
The law of strict product liability concentrates on the safety of the product rather than on the reasonableness of the manufacturer and supplier's conduct. The manufacturer and supplier of a product may be liable for harm caused by its defective product even where it has exercised all possible care in the preparation and sale of its product.
DANGEROUS ELEVATORS, ESCALATORS & FIXTURES
There is also a 12-year statute of repose that applies to products that have become fixtures, i.e., elevators, escalators, conveyor belts, etc. The statute of repose eliminates the right of recovery unless an action is commenced within 12 years of the date of incorporation into the real estate as a fixture. What that means is if the elevator or escalator has been operating in a building for more than 12 years, and you have been injured by it, you may not be entitled to a recovery from the owner of the building or the installers. However, that the statute of repose has been found not to apply to manufacturers. You may still be able to recover damages from a manufacturer of a defective product that you have been injured by.
Under any theory of liability, a plaintiff in a product liability case must prove that the product that caused injury was defective, and that the defect made the product unreasonably dangerous. There are three types of defects that might cause injury and give rise to manufacturer or supplier liability:
- Design defects
- Manufacturing defects
- Marketing defects
Design defects are present in a product from the beginning, even before it is manufactured, in that something in the design of the product is inherently unsafe. Manufacturing defects are those that occur in the course of a product's manufacture or assembly. Finally, marketing defects are flaws in the way a product is marketed, such as improper labeling, insufficient instructions, or inadequate safety warnings.
UNAVOIDBLE UNSAFE PRODUCTS
By their nature, some products simply cannot be made safer without losing their usefulness. For example, an electric knife that is too dull to injure anyone would also be useless for its intended purpose. It is generally believed that, as to such products, users and consumers are the best equipped to minimize risk. Thus, while a product might not be deemed unreasonably dangerous, manufacturers and suppliers of unavoidably unsafe products must give proper warnings of the dangers and risks of their products so that consumers can make informed decisions regarding whether to use them.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a defective product, contact a Defective Product Lawyer via email or phone 866-527-2161(Toll Free) immediately. Someone will answer your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our experienced product liability attorneys may be able to help you recover a settlement for you or a loved one’s injuries.
No matter what the defective product is, a car seat, a high chair, a tractor, a lawn mower, an elevator, a crane, a vehicle, a treadmill or an appliance, do not hesitate to call us today for a free case evaluation. You have the right to be safe – Let Marcus & Mack help you recover for your injury.