Whether you do your shopping in retail stores or through online vendors, you have a right to expect that every product you buy is safe to use for its intended purpose. Unfortunately, not every product manufacturer meets this basic duty of care to its consumers. This can be seen through the amount of product recalls issued across the country each year and the number of injuries that occur before those recalls go out.
If you were injured while using an unreasonably dangerous product, you should consider speaking with an Allentown product liability lawyer about your legal options. Depending on the circumstances, you may have grounds to file suit against the company that made or sold the defective product and hold it financially accountable for all the losses you suffered due to its negligence. Founding Partner Jon Ostroff has won many cases on behalf of clients where were injured by defective products.
- Jon has been involved in cases leading to the recovery of millions of dollars for the families of numerous individuals that were killed or seriously injured in product liability “design” cases involving dangerous forklifts.
- Jon has also helped hundreds of clients recover millions of dollars in “misleading marketing” cases due to injuries they sustained from medications, where the pharmaceutical manufacturer failed to disclose risks they were aware of.
- Jon recovered $600,000 for a client that suffered from a “manufacturing defect” in a product used in his hip implant surgery, requiring his client to undergo a second hip surgery to remove and replace the defective hip implant.
Speak with one of our accident attorneys to learn more about what Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers can do for you.
When Are Product Manufacturers Liable for Your Injuries?
Most personal injury claims outside of product liability cases are built on the concept of “negligence.” In a negligence claim, you must prove another party’s reckless or careless actions caused your injuries. However, defective product cases (also known as “product liability”) revolve around the concept of “strict liability.” Under this theory, product manufacturers are automatically responsible for the harm their products cause.
To succeed in your strict liability or product liability case, you must prove:
- The product had a “defect,”
- That defect existed when the product left the manufacturer’s direct control, and
- That defect was the primary and direct cause of your injuries.
There are three main types of defects that could justify a product liability claim: design, manufacturing, and marketing defects.
- “Design defects” make every version of a product inherently unsafe.
- The above-mentioned forklift cases that Jon was involved in were “design defect” This design defect caused forklifts to roll over and seriously injure or kill its operator.
- “Manufacturing defects” might only affect one batch of an otherwise safely designed product.
- The above-mentioned hip implant case that Jon handled involved a specific “manufacturing defect” in a batch of hip transplants that required them to be removed and replaced as soon as the specific lot they were part of was determined to contain this defect.
- “Marketing defects” occur when the manufacturer does not provide adequate instructions or warning labels.
- The above-mentioned pharmaceutical medication cases involved the failure of the manufacturer to disclose dangerous risks in its marketing. These risks were proven to be associated with these dangerous medications, resulting in severe illness or death to people taking these drugs.
Additional Requirements for Proving Strict Liability
Certain types of product liability claims have additional conditions that must be met. For example, if you are filing a lawsuit over an injury caused by a design defect, you must show that a safer alternative design was available at the time the product was made and feasible for the manufacturer to use without extensive financial or procedural problems. A skilled attorney in Allentown can help you understand the potential justifications for your defective product lawsuits.
Recovering for Damages Caused by Dangerous Products
Once you prove that a manufacturer is strictly liable for your injuries, you may recover compensation for the economic and non-economic losses you suffered due to the faulty product. Your compensation can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost work income, including lost business and financial opportunities
- Damage to personal property, including the defective product itself
- Loss of life’s pleasures
It is important to note that 42 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes §5524 requires injured victims to file suit within two years of the accident.
On rare occasion, there is an exception to this “two year from accident” doctrine, which is called the “discovery rule.” This might apply if you did not reasonably discover that you were injured by a defective product until you suffered harm or the problem was publicized, such as with a defective medication. A good example of the discovery rule would apply to something that is defective and surgically placed in your body, like defective hardware used to repair a fracture or a faulty, leaking breast implant. If the harm caused by these defects could not be known until the symptoms occur or the publicity about the defect begins, you may have an extension to the typical two-year statute of limitations.
If you wait too long to take legal action, you could miss your opportunity to recover compensation. A local attorney familiar with product liability claims can help you keep track of these types of deadlines to protect your right to file suit.
Talk to an Allentown Product Liability Attorney Today
Litigation against product manufacturers over dangerous defects can be difficult to manage by yourself. Even if you have a lot of evidence to support your claim, collecting and presenting that evidence in a compelling way can be a time-consuming and complex endeavor. It is also incredibly challenging to negotiate with defense counsel and insurance reps.
Give yourself a chance at a favorable case outcome by hiring an Allentown product liability lawyer. Contact Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers today to get started with a free consultation.