Philadelphia Product Liability Lawyer
Product liability claims are complex and expensive to litigate. Often times defective products can cause catastrophic and life altering injuries and if the product manufacturer is not held accountable, they are likely to continue producing and selling dangerous products. Our Philadelphia product liability attorneys take particular pride in challenging these manufacturers and distributors of dangerous products. Product liability law is important because as a law firm, we can help protect the public by forcing big companies to design and produce safer products for everyone.
When Is A Product Considered Defective?
Essentially a product is defective when it is unreasonably dangerous. The key issue here is often the “unreasonableness” of the danger posed by the product. Many products have an inherently dangerous quality, such as a chainsaw and therefore are not necessarily defective just because they have the potential to cause injury.
Product defects that are liabilities for manufacturers as well as suppliers typically include:
- Design defects prior to product being manufactured
- Defects in the manufacturing process
- Product marketing problems when improper details have been given to consumers warning of dangers found in the product.
In design defect cases the focus will usually be on safer alternative designs to minimize the risk of injury. Testing and analysis is used weigh utility vs. risks associated with the product.
Plaintiffs are often obliged to offer alternative designs that the manufacturer could have employed, which would not have resulted in injury and which would not have affected the use of the product. The added expense of the plaintiff’s proposed alternative is also a factor in the balancing test.
A manufacturing defect occurs in Philadelphia when a particular product was manufactured incorrectly, as apposed to a poor design. You still need to show that in its condition, the product was unreasonably dangerous. The plaintiff needs to establish the defective condition upon the product leaving the manufacturer and that the product had not been altered at the point of injury. This can be particularly difficult to prove when many businesses/people are involved in the distribution chain. The manufacturer may claim the product was altered by either the wholesaler, retailer or the consumer.
Failure To Warn
A product can also be defective if there are no warnings or inadequate warnings. Many times a product can be made safer by simply advising the consumer of the nature and extent of the risks. In some cases, warnings are not reasonable because of how the warning was conveyed. The warning must be thorough and visible, and it must warn the consumer of the magnitude of the risk involved in not following the product’s warning instructions. If a safer product could have reasonably been designed, then a proper warning will not necessarily relieve the defendant of liability. However, the manufacturer will often argue that the injured person ignored the warning or failed to follow the instructions.
How to Prove a Product Liability Case In Philadelphia
In addition to traditional negligence theories, manufacturers and product distributors in Philadelphia can be liable on “strict liability” and “breach of warranty” theories.
Strict liability is different from a negligence theory, in that the injured party does not need to show knowledge or fault on the manufacturer’s part. The plaintiff needs only to establish that the product was sold or distributed by a defendant, and that the product was unreasonably dangerous at the time it left the defendant’s hands. Further, everyone in the distribution chain can be liable including the wholesaler and retailer even though they had nothing to do with the design or manufacturing of the product. Strict liability concerns only the condition of the product itself.
This does not mean a person who is injured can simply claim strict liability and automatically recover. Rather, the injured party must still prove an unreasonably dangerous condition of the product caused their injuries.
Breach of warranty can be a successful claim because products have an implied warranty, or that the product can be used safely. Injuries caused by defective products constitute the breaching of the warranty in some cases. Sellers or manufacturers cannot disclaim warranties but will be held liable if it is determined that the product is defective.
It’s also important in a product liability case to keep the product that caused the injury. If you lose or destroy the product, the defendant will be able to argue they cannot fairly defend your allegations and the court may dismiss your case. Further, you may not be able to prove the product was defective.
Equipment malfunction is a common cause of machine accidents. Contact with any moving machine parts has the potential for causing severe injuries, including crushed hands, amputations, head injuries, severe burns, blindness and wrongful death. Safeguards are essential for protecting workers from these needless and preventable injuries. In fact, machine guarding and related machinery violations consistently rank among the top violations of worker safety.
In such cases, the machine manufacturer is often liable. Failure to adhere to safety standards or to provide adequate protective equipment can also contribute to machine accidents. Other causes include improper training, poor working conditions as well as machine malfunction. To have success in a machinery accident case, it is important to choose an experienced Philadelphia product liability attorney with a proven track record in handling machine accident litigation.
Contact Our Philadelphia Product Liability Attorney
At Rosenbaum & Associates our team of experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorneys can help get you the settlement you need. Machine specialists and safety engineers are essential to determine the mechanics of the accident and evaluate any safety deficiencies. If you or a loved one have been severely injured due to a defective product, call our attorneys for legal questions or a free case evaluation – contact us online or call 1 800 7 LEGAL 7.