Products liability cases are one of the most complex personal injury cases to litigate. Many injured individuals do not even know that they have a products liability case against the responsible parties.
A products liability case is a personal injury lawsuit brought by an injured individual who was injured by a product. In order to prevail in a product injury lawsuit, the product must have been defective or dangerous and must have caused the injury. For instance, if a local Philadelphia high school football player suffers a traumatic brain injury due to a defective helmet, he may have a products liability or dangerous products personal injury case against the helmet manufacturer.
Products can be anything. The list of things that are considered “products” is virtually endless. Anything and everything that is manufactured, assembled and placed into the stream of commerce is considered a “product,” such as children’s toys, kitchen electronic appliances, tools, athletic safety equipment, and gardening tools. Even machinery, something that someone works with every day to earn a living, is a product. A product is essentially any merchandise that you use.
In today’s world, products are manufactured very differently. Before, products were typically manufactured at one factory. Nowadays, products may be put together in pieces by different companies at different locations. Some of the companies may even be located overseas.
For instance, in order to make a swivel office chair, the seats are made by Company A located overseas, the wheels are made by Company B in New Jersey, and the final components are made by Company C in
Philadelphia which also completes assembly of the chairs.
A bank in the suburbs of Philadelphia purchases these chairs. When a banker teller at the bank sits on a chair, it collapses, causing the teller to fall from the chair. As a result of the fall, the bank teller is injured. In this situation, one or all three of these companies may be responsible for the banker’s injuries depending on the facts of the case.
Let’s assume that the wheels made by Company B were defective or dangerous, in that the wheel was assembled incorrectly during the manufacturing process, which made it likely to break. Let’s also assume that Company C was supposed to inspect the wheels before assembling the chair; however, it failed to do so. In this situation, both Company B and C may be responsible for the banker’s injuries. Company B is liable because the wheel was defectively manufactured, and Company C is liable because it was negligent by failing to inspect the wheels before assembly.
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What makes a product defective? Under the law, there are three ways in which products can be defective:
A product is defectively designed if the design of the product itself is inherently dangerous and causes injuries to the consumer. For example, a baby toy is made of many little components that can detach from the toy. Babies often put things in their mouths. Hence, a baby may take one of the little components from the toy, put it in his mouth and swallow it by accident. The baby may choke or even die as a result. In this case, the toy is defectively designed because the design is inherently dangerous for babies.
A product is defectively manufactured when something happens during the manufacturing process which causes the product to be dangerous. A manufacturing defect is typically a defect that was not intended and not part of the design.
A product is defective if it lacks adequate instructions or warnings regarding the proper use of the product. For example, a string of decorative lights can overheat if left on for more than 4 hours; however, this warning was not included in instructions. In addition, the manufacturer knew that the lights may overheat. A consumer puts up the lights and leaves them on in the house for several hours. As a result, the lights overheat and cause a fire. The consumer is injured during the fire. In this case, the consumer may have a case against the manufacturer and be financially compensated for his injuries.
If you or a loved one was injured by a dangerous product, call the personal injury lawyers at White and Williams. Daniel J. O’Brien, Esq. and his team have extensive experience in handling products liability cases. FREE consultations. 877.944.8396