If you have been seriously injured by a dangerous product, you might wonder what your rights are. No laws exist at a federal level regarding product liability and states have individually legislated their own laws to govern defective products. As a consumer under Pennsylvania state law, you have the right to be sold products that are safe. When defective products result in harm, the litigation to compensate the injured is called a product liability lawsuit.
The real power that a consumer has against a manufacturer that has produced a defective product lies within the legal system. It is true that certain regulatory bodies may oversee products in an attempt to regulate and safeguard consumers, but even so, thousands of defective products are released every year. While many products are recalled before consumers are harmed, others go undetected until a tragedy occurs. The manufacturer may deal with authorities who are interested in controlling safety issues; however, the injured consumer will only be compensated if he or she takes legal action.
Product liability cases can involve a wide scope of defective products, such as:
- Automobile parts
- Car seats
- Safety belts
- High chairs
- Lawn mowers
- Industrial machinery/equipment
- Farm machinery
- Household appliances
The ways in which products can be defective and therefore pose a liability fall into three main categories:
- Design Defects. An intrinsically flawed design can make a product unsafe — for example, SUV roofs that cannot sustain a rollover.
- Manufacturing Defects. When the manufacturing process has been compromised, a defective product may result, such as using a different strength of material than engineers recommended in the manufacturing of an SUV roof.
- Marketing Defects. The product must be marketed in such a way as to warn the consumer about potential hazards, or provide operating instructions so the product is safely used as intended. Examples include warning labels that a household cleaner should be kept out of reach of children or pets, and what to do if swallowed; or instructions on how to operate a cook top stove.
If you or a family member has been harmed by a consumer product you believe to be defective, or if you have been injured on the job through a malfunctioning machine or device, seeking legal advice can help you make an informed decision about whether to pursue a product liability lawsuit.
Our initial consultation to discuss your injury is free of charge, and if the Pittsburgh personal injury lawyers of Dattilo Law Offices decide to take your case, we will represent you on a contingency basis. If there is no recovery there is no fee. To arrange a consultation, please contact us online or call our law office at (412) 391-6300.