Throughout any given day, the average American citizen uses and is exposed to an enormous number and variety of manufactured products and gives little or no thought to the possibility that these products may have been defectively designed or made. Yet, a great many children and adults are injured or killed every year by products that are unreasonably dangerous for consumers’ use. When a defective product results in the injury or death of someone who has used or has been exposed to the product, the product manufacturer and others involved in the product’s production and distribution may be held liable in a products-liability action for the resultant damages suffered by the injured person or deceased person’s survivors.
The Killino Firm’s Pennsylvania defective-products and products-liability lawyers have extensive experience with defective-products cases, including those arising out of injuries and deaths caused by defective cars and other motor vehicles, household appliances and products, toys, children’s products, workplace equipment, medical equipment, and others. If you or one of your family members was injured in an accident and you have reason to believe that the accident was caused by a dangerous or defective product, you may be entitled to compensation through legal action. Contact The Killino Firm’s Pennsylvania defective-products attorneys at 877-875-2927 for a cost-free evaluation of your case and additional information about your legal rights and options.
Legal Liability for Accident Injuries and Deaths Caused by Defective Products
Products-liability actions seeking damages for personal injury or death caused by defective products are generally brought as negligence or strict-liability claims. Strict-liability claims are preferred by plaintiffs over negligence claims, however, because strict-liability claims allow plaintiffs to establish the liability of certain defendants without the necessity of proving that any of the defendants was negligent in producing a defective product or in releasing it to consumers. In these types of cases, defendants may be held legally responsible for injuries caused by their defective products even if the defendants were altogether unaware of the existence of the defects that ultimately harmed consumers. This liability without proof of negligence or other actionable fault is justified under the law because consumers place their trust in and rely upon product sellers and manufacturers to create and sell only products that are reasonably safe for their use. Between the injured consumer and the product manufacturer (and others involved in the product’s production and distribution), the product producers and distributors are more fairly required to bear the responsibility of injuries caused by the products they create and sell.
Only certain types of defects can lead to this strict liability, however. Under the law governing Pennsylvania strict-liability claims (which is embodied in the Restatement (Second) of Torts, Section 402A), the manufacturer and others in the chain of production and distribution of a particular product may be held liable for a person’s injury or death that is determined to have been caused by a defect in the product’s design, manufacture, or warnings and instructions. Thus, a television that is designed so that it too easily tips over, for example, may be found defective in design under products-liability law, resulting in the potential liability of the television’s designer, manufacture, suppliers, assemblers, wholesalers, and retailers for any injuries or deaths determined to have been caused by the design defect. Automobile tires that have been designed for manufacture with reasonably safe materials may, nevertheless, be found defective in manufacture if the manufacturer uses inferior and unsafe materials in non-compliance with the safe design. A household product, such as a lawnmower, may be found defective in its warnings or instructions if the lawnmower is sold without adequate instructions for its safe use or adequate warnings of certain dangers associated with its intended use. Warnings and instructions may be also be found inadequate—and to, thus, render a product defective under products-liability law—when adequately worded warnings or instructions are placed in a location unlikely to be seen by the average product user.
In order for these defendants to be held strictly liable for such an injury or death, the plaintiff must also prove 1) that the product was defective both at the time it was sold and when the injury-causing accident occurred, and 2) that the product was being used as it was intended to be used or as it could reasonably be expected to be used when the accident occurred. An injured plaintiff need not be the person who purchased the defective product in order to recover damages under products-liability law. If a passenger in a defective automobile owned by another is injured in an accident found to have been caused by the auto defect, the injured passenger may be able to recover damages for his or her injuries from the car manufacturer and others in the chain of the car’s production and distribution. In addition, occupants of other vehicles involved in the same accident may be entitled to recover damages for their injuries from the same defendants.
If you have been injured or one of your family members has died due to an accident involving any type of defective product, The Killino Firm’s Pennsylvania defective-products and products-liability attorneys can help you obtain the justice you deserve from the responsible parties. Contact The Killino Firm at 877-875-2927 for experienced and aggressive assistance with your defective-products case.