The term “products liability case” refers to one of the broadest categories of personal injury cases and is a term commonly used in the legal profession. The term really refers to accidents that are caused by a defective or unsafe condition of a “thing” or a “good” that is designed, manufactured, assembled, sold and/or leased. The list of things that are considered “products” is virtually endless. A small child’s toy is a product. An automobile is a product. A bicycle is a product. An electric appliance used in a home is a product. Scaffolding components are products. Machines used in factories, assembly lines, fabrication plants, etc., are also products.
What binds all of these varied items together is the body of law that applies in situations in which individuals are injured due to an unsafe condition or a malfunction of those items. Products liability law is a complicated area of law which most often requires the attorneys to utilize the services of expert consultants and witnesses in many specialized fields of engineering. This is not an area of law for rookies and it is certainly not a “do it yourself” area of law for accident victims.
Related: Pennsylvania Products Liability Law
The following example demonstrates the complexity and involvement of multiple parties in a products liability case. A contractor rents a ladder from a local hardware store in Philadelphia, PA. The contractor goes to a client's house to replace a piece of siding on the second floor of the house. He uses the ladder he rented from the store to reach the siding on the second floor of the house. As he gets to the top of the ladder, it collapses and the contractor falls off the ladder. The contractor breaks his right arm in several places and needs surgery as a result of his fall. Due to his injury, the contractor cannot work for several months because he cannot use his right arm.
Upon examination, the lock mechanism on the ladder was not working properly which caused the ladder to collapse. The contractor may be able to recover from the responsible parties in a Pennsylvania dangerous products liability case. There may be multiple liable parties. The manufacturer of the ladder may be liable if the lock on the ladder was made or designed defectively. If the ladder manufacturer hired a company to design the lock mechanism, then that company may also be liable for the contractor’s accident and injuries. Lastly, the hardware store may also be liable if it knew that the lock on the ladder did not lock from a complaint made by a prior customer and still rented it to the contractor.
As one can see, determining all of the responsible parties in this case can be complex. A thorough investigation is required, and only an experienced products liability lawyer can help the contractor determine all of the potential liable parties.
If you were injured by a dangerous consumer product and want to explore your legal rights. Call Daniel J. O'Brien, Esq. to schedule a FREE consultation. 877.944.8396