Injured by a Faulty or Dangerous Product? Let Us Help You Recover.
2021 saw nearly 12 million people in the United States rushed into emergency treatment due to an injury from a consumer product. While you never think it will happen to you, everyday products can put you and your family at risk if they are defective or dangerous. Often, someone in the production chain knew the product was defective. However, they chose to prioritize their profits over the safety of customers and consumers.
You should be able to trust that the manufacturer or designer of your product kept your safety as their highest priority. If this trust was violated, a Pittsburgh product liability attorney can help you hold those responsible for your injuries accountable. Contact the product liability lawyers at Munley Law to schedule a free consultation. We’re here to help.
$32 Million Wrongful Death
$26 Million Truck Accident
$17.5 Million Car Accident
$12 Million Product Liability
$9 Million Truck Accident
$8 Million Truck Accident
$8 Million Truck Accident
$7.5 Million Auto Accident
$6.9 Million Garbage Truck Accident
$6.5 Million Traumatic Brain Injury
$5 Million Medical Malpractice
$5 Million Bus Accidents
What Are the Common Defective Products in Product Liability Cases?
Some products we often see in product liability cases include:
- Food and beverages
- Motor vehicle parts and safety devices
- Children’s toys and furniture
- Medical devices
- Medications, both prescription and over-the-counter
- Cleaning products and chemicals
- Gardening tools and chemicals, such as pesticides
These are all products frequently purchased and used by the majority of the population. Any defective or dangerous product has the potential to harm vulnerable people. If you have been injured by one of these defective products, you may not be alone.
What Injuries Are Caused By Defective Products?
Injuries suffered from defective products can include:
- Organ damage or failure, often from defective medications or medical devices
- Choking from small toy parts
- Electrocution and severe burns from appliances with faulty wiring
- Broken bones, lacerations, or dislocated joints due to a fault in a seat belt or other safety device
- Traumatic brain injuries from defective motor vehicles, helmets, or falls from ladders
Some injuries can require long-term care and rehabilitation. In some cases, a faulty product can lead to a loved one’s death.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Defective Product?
Companies are responsible for protecting consumers. Releasing a defective product is a failure to provide that duty of care, making that company negligent. However, multiple people and groups in the production chain can be held legally responsible for a defective product causing an injury.
Parties that you may be able to hold responsible in a product liability case include:
- Third-party suppliers
Importantly, even sellers, retailers, and other distributors can be held liable if they sell a dangerous product. While suppliers are not directly involved in the creation of a product, they still have a legal responsibility to sell safe products to their customers.
How to Identify a Defective Product
If you have been injured by a product, your first instinct may be to blame yourself. There is an assumption that products will always work as intended, and anything to the contrary must be from user error.
A product can be considered defective if it is:
- Unfit for intended use
- Lacking proper use instructions
- Lacking adequate warning labels
- Otherwise includes an inherently dangerous flaw
If a product that injured you fell under one of these categories, you may have a case for a product liability claim. It is important to reach out right away to an injury attorney with experience in defective product cases.
What is Pennsylvania’s Product Liability Law?
Pennsylvania recognizes three types of product liability claims, as determined by how the product came to be defective. Each of these claims will involve different defendants and require specific legal knowledge from your attorney.
At the very start of the production chain, designers or engineers may commit to an inherent design defect. A company may fail to adequately test a new product before approving it for production, or a test may fail to uncover a specific flaw in the design. This can lead to a line of products carrying a dangerous defect, potentially affecting hundreds or thousands of consumers.
Tests for design defects can vary widely in different states. In Pennsylvania, a plaintiff can utilize either the Consumer Expectation or Risk-Utility test to demonstrate a defect.
- Consumer Expectation Test – Proving the product was dangerous beyond normal consumer expectation during regular, foreseeable use, considering factors such as intended use or intended users
- Risk-Utility Test – Proving a reasonable consumer would decide that the risk of harm caused by the product would outweigh the trouble of taking proper precautions to prevent that harm
Both of these tests are best completed and demonstrated by an expert.
Manufacturing and factory defects are relatively straightforward. In this case, the creators of the product committed negligence in some fashion. An error on the factor floor can lead to a defect for one specific product in a line. Alternatively, contamination in a facility handling food can infect an entire line of products for some time before it is discovered.
Pennsylvania considers manufacturing defects under strict liability law. Strict liability means the manufacturer does not need to know of the defect or intend to harm to be held liable. Manufacturers are automatically required to provide a duty of care at all times, which they can be held legally responsible for even if they are unaware of a defect.
Marketing, or Failure to Warn
Manufacturers, marketers, and sales personnel may fail to provide appropriate usage instructions for a product. They may also fail to fully disclose potential risks. Product creators are required to warn consumers about the potential dangers of a product, so long as these risks are not immediately obvious.
Failure to warn commonly occurs with food, beverage, and medical products that do not list all ingredients or side effects. It can also occur in cases where cleaning products fail to warn consumers against use in certain settings or alongside other chemicals.
The Statute of Limitations for a Defective Product Claim in Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania law provides a statute of limitations of two years for product liability claims. As a consumer, you have two years after the date your injury occurs to file your claim against the negligent party, or else you lose the ability to recover compensation.
Exceptions to Pennsylvania’s product liability statute of limitations include:
- If, after using a product for years without an adequate warning label, you discovered it caused a past injury, you might still have a case under the discovery rule
- Injured minors have until their 20th birthday to file a product liability claim
Even within the time limit of the statute of limitations, it is important to act quickly. Working alongside a legal team can help you preserve vital evidence to support your case.
How an Attorney Can Help You With Your Product Liability Claim
Product liability claims are difficult to pursue without the guidance of an experienced attorney. You may not have access to the resources you need to fully investigate your claim. Without the evidence needed to support your claim that your injury was caused by a defective product, you will face an uphill battle in securing the compensation you need.
A skilled and experienced attorney in product liability claims can:
- Notify all parties involved in the case, including designers, manufacturers, distributors, and sellers
- Collect internal company documents
- Gather evidence from any past injured victims
- Obtain video, photo, or eyewitness statements regarding the incident
- Work with expert engineers and other professionals to provide additional evidence
- Calculate total losses alongside financial, medical, and economic experts
- Speak and negotiate with each involved party to agree upon a settlement
- If necessary, prepare the case for trial
An investigation can be both time-consuming and expensive, taking away the resources you need at this time to rest and recover. An injury law firm can investigate and pursue your case on your behalf utilizing their full resources.
Speak with a Qualified Pittsburgh Products Liability Attorney
If you’ve been injured by a defective product, the thought of trying to get compensation from a negligent company can be overwhelming. At Munley Law, our Pittsburgh personal injury lawyers provide the compassionate counsel you need at this time.
We can build a solid case to help you get the compensation you need to make a recovery. Contact our firm in Pittsburgh today for a free consultation.
Pittsburgh Practice Areas
Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys
510 Third Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219