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Types of Product Liability Claims

Experienced Products Liability Lawyers

Every year in the United States, thousands of people are injured by defective products. From recalled auto parts to poorly designed furniture that easily tips over to dangerous drugs, many products deemed safe for consumers may actually endanger them.

While production standards and safely guidelines exist to protect the public, oversights in the design, manufacturing, or labeling process leaves room for serious and even life-threatening product flaws.

Consumers who are injured or become ill by a defective product may pursue a defective product liability claim to recover damages. A Philadelphia products liability lawyer at McCann & Wall, LLC can provide the necessary legal representation.

There are three types of product liability claims determined by what type of defect made the product dangerous or unfit for consumer use:

Design Defects

Design defects are flaws in the inherent design of the product. This means defects existed in the design even before the manufacturing process began. Design defect product liability claims generally involve large quantities of the same product produced at the same time. They are defective even when assembled precisely to the manufacturer’s specifications.

One example of a design defect is a top-heavy vehicle that is prone to rollover accidents.

In Pennsylvania, the courts use two standards to determine product liability:

  • The consumer expectations standard: This standard assesses whether the product is more dangerous than the average consumer would expect. Some products, like knives for example, come with an obvious risk to the user. When used properly as intended, the consumer is safe. However, if the knife’s design makes it slippery, easily breakable, or quickly dull, the user has a higher chance of getting cut, meeting the consumer expectations standard.
  • The risk-utility standard: This standard asks if injuries sustained while using the product may have outweighed the effort of taking precautions against them happening. In simpler terms: if the consumer takes reasonable and expected precautions to use a product safely yet is still injured by it, they may have cause to pursue a claim.

Manufacturing Defects

These defects occur during the assembly or manufacturing process. Manufacturing defect product liability claims allege a product’s design was initially sound, but something happened while it was being produced to make it unsafe. An example would be an electric tea kettle that was designed properly, but because the cords were damaged or otherwise improperly assembled in the factory, it is likely to catch fire during everyday use.

Manufacturers defect product liability claims are held to the “strict liability” standard, meaning the manufacturer is not required to have known about the defect or intended to hurt the consumer, to be held responsible for their injuries. The plaintiff only needs to prove the product was defective and that the defect caused their injuries.

Marketing Defects

Marketing defects encompass problems in the labeling or instructions associated with a product. These are also called “failure-to-warn” claims, meaning the consumer was not adequately warned about the potential risks of using the product, or provided with proper directions for using the item safely.

An example of this type of product liability claim would be medication or a medical device that comes without warnings of the risk of side effects or dangerous interactions with other drugs. All consumer products that pose a choking hazard, contain hot elements, or toxic components are required to come with appropriate warnings as well.

Without product liability claims, there would be no accountability to keep the general public safe. Holding companies responsible for design defects, manufacturing defects, or inadequate warnings improves safety standards and keeps dangerous products away from consumers.

Philadelphia Products Liability Lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC, Protect the Rights of Consumers Injured by All Types of Defective Products

If you have been injured by a dangerous product while using it as instructed and as intended, you may have a viable product liability claim. Establishing which type of defect caused your injuries can be challenging. The Philadelphia products liability lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC will investigate what happened to your product before it reached you to determine where something went wrong.

To learn more about how product liability claims work and what you may potentially recover for your injuries, schedule a free consultation by calling 215-569-8488 or contact us online to get started today. From our conveniently located offices in Philadelphia, Abington, and Media, we represent clients across Pennsylvania, including in Delaware County and Chester County, as well as Delaware and New Jersey.

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