Defective Product Liability Lawyers
When you purchase a product, you expect that product to work properly. But when that product has a major defect that destroys the product and injures you, you may have a lawsuit on your hands.
For 20 years, the Philadelphia, Wilkes-Barre, and Scranton defective product lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli have been fighting for personal injury victims across Philadelphia and Northeast Pennsylvania. We understand that a case of negligence can change your life. This is why we take the time to listen to your case and fight for your legal rights so you can be properly compensated for your injuries.
What Is a Product Liability Claim?
Defective product cases fall under product liability law – legal issues that arise after a dangerous or faulty item causes an injury. In these cases, the responsibility of the accident lies with one or more of the following parties:
- The product manufacturer
- A manufacturer involved in creating parts of the item
- The party who was responsible for assembling and/or installing the product
- The wholesaler
- The retail store who sold the defective product to the consumer
Product liability cases often find their origins with products such as automobiles, pharmaceutical drugs, infant or baby products, power tools, electrical equipment, airplanes, construction equipment, and other machinery. Producers or distributors have a strict liability to do right by consumers if they have caused injury or damage to them as the result of a faulty product.
In cases such as these, the consumer may be able to recover compensation for economic and non-economic losses, lost wages or profits, and damage to property.
Pennsylvania Liability Law
In Pennsylvania, there are three categories a defective product can fall under:
- Defective Design: This occurs when the design has made the product unsafe. For example, a chair with thin legs was designed to be aesthetically pleasing. Yet when someone sits on the chair, the legs cannot hold the weight and crash to the floor. Because the design is flawed, this is a case of product liability.
- Manufacturing Defect: When the product causes an injury because of the way the product has been created, this may be a case of negligence. It's important to note that claims involving manufacturing defects must involve "strict liability." This means the manufacturer had no intention to injure or had knowledge of the defect.
- Lack of Warning: If the manufacturer fails to warn the consumer about the danger in the product, then this can be a basis of a lawsuit. For example, if you purchase a vape. While using the device, you are severely burned. There was no warning about heat elements with the device. You may have a lawsuit.
Pennsylvania Fair Share Act
In 2011, The Fair Share Act, 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 7102 was signed into law. In essence, the act eliminated joint and severe liability from most tort cases. As such, each defendant is only liable for their apportioned amount of liability. This was to counteract the filing of lawsuits against “deep pocket” defendants who could pay out more in a claim.
However, some exceptions exist where the defendant may still be responsible to pay the entire judgment such as:
- Intentional misrepresentation or an intentional tort
- The release or threatened release of a hazardous substance
- Serving alcohol to an intoxicated individual
Proving Fault in a Defective Product Case
According to the strict liability doctrine, a person injured by a faulty or dangerous product can recover compensation from the maker or seller of the product without showing that the manufacturer or seller was actually negligent.
This may sound like a slam dunk - however, it is far more complicated than it sounds. To prove your claim, the following conditions must exist:
- The product in question had an "unreasonably dangerous" defect that injured you.
- This defect had to be either because of the design of the product, during the manufacturing stage, or during the shipping of the product.
It's important to note if you are injured by a defective product and wish to file a product liability claim, Pennsylvania uses the modified comparative fault standard. This means that the injured party cannot be found to be more than 50 percent responsible for the resulting injury. If the plaintiff is found to be more than 50 percent responsible, he/she may not recover damages.
This is why it's essential to have an experienced Pennsylvania defective product lawyer standing by your side.
Contact Our Pennsylvania Defective Product Lawyers Now
Defective product liability lawsuits have positive outcomes when the victims of a faulty product receive just compensation and the producers and distributors of that product are encouraged to produce and market their product in a safer way. If you feel that you or a loved one has suffered harm as a result of a defective product, you may have a personal injury claim.
If you believe that you suffered an injury or other damage as the result of a defective product, the time in which you file your claim is crucial. The sooner you contact a personal injury lawyer, the greater your chances of receiving compensation. Contact the Philadelphia, Wilkes-Barre, and Scranton defective products lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli now to discuss your options regarding the damages suffered as a result of a faulty product.