How can I prove negligence in a products liability case in Pennsylvania?

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Alan M. Feldman - Personal Injury - Products - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Alan M. Feldman

Located in Philadelphia, PAFeldman Shepherd Wohlgelernter Tanner Weinstock Dodig LLP

Philadelphia, PA
Phone: 215-309-8667
Fax: 215-599-1291

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From the crib your child sleeps in to the car you drive, as a consumer, you have a right to assume that the products you purchase and use are safe. Companies that manufacture and sell products have a legal obligation to conduct thorough tests to ensure that the products they design, make, market and sell are free of defects and hazards. In cases where the use of a product results in a consumer suffering harm or injury, legal action may be appropriate. To prove negligence in a products liability case in Pennsylvania, a plaintiff must demonstrate that a product is defective and/or that a product lacked proper cautionary warnings or instructions for use.

Proving That A Product Is Defective

Products liability defect claims may involve defects related to a product’s design or manufacture. To prove that a product’s design was defective, the Pennsylvania courts take into account two legal standards — The Consumer Expectations Standard and The Risk-Utility Standard.

  • Consumer Expectations Standard: Is a product more dangerous than a reasonable consumer would expect?
  • The Risk-Utility Standard: Could a consumer have avoided injury by taking reasonable precautions?

In product defect cases, it must also be substantiated that a defect was the direct cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.

In cases where a product carries inherent risks, a products liability claim may assert that a product lacked adequate warnings or instructions. In these types of claims, a plaintiff must prove that he or she would not have suffered injuries if a product had an adequate warning or instructions.

Taking Legal Action  - When to contact a Defective Product Attorney

If you suffered injuries due to a dangerous or defective product, it is important to reach out to an experienced products liability attorney. Examples of products liability claims include:

  • Defective furniture design — Collapsing or tip-over accidents (IKEA furniture tip-overs)
  • Dangerous children’s products — Cribs, magnetic toys and infant slings
  • Defective auto parts — Brakes, steering components and air bags
  • Defective appliances — Dryers, stoves and small appliances

A defective product attorney will review your case and determine if you have a valid claim. Depending on the specific circumstances, you may be able to take legal action against a product’s designer, manufacturer, wholesaler and/or retailer to recover compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, disability and pain and suffering.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship. 

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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