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Pittston Product Liability Lawyer

We are all required to use reasonable care in our day-to-day lives. This applies not only to motorists, property owners, and people in general, but also to corporations, specifically manufacturers who design, produce, and sell consumer products. For this reason, companies that fail to properly test their products or that use faulty designs can be held liable if their negligence resulted in an injury to a consumer. This area of the law is known as product liability and tends to be difficult to navigate, so if you were recently hurt after using a consumer product, it is critical to speak with an experienced Pittston product liability lawyer who can explain your legal options before you proceed with your claim.

Legal Theories of Liability

In Pennsylvania, manufacturers can be held liable for injuries caused by their products under a few different legal theories, including:

  • Strict liability, under which plaintiffs are not required to provide proof of negligence, but need only offer evidence that a product was in a defective condition when they received it, which in turn requires proof that the danger posed by the product to the consumer was unknowable, or that the likelihood and seriousness of the harm caused by the product outweigh the cost of taking precautions;
  • Negligence, which involves proving that a manufacturer failed to use reasonable care in designing, testing, producing, advertising, or transporting its product, which resulted in a consumer’s foreseeable injury; and
  • Breach of warranty, which requires proof that a company breached its duty of merchantability by selling a product that posed an unreasonable risk to consumers.

These theories of liability can be used to prove that a product suffered from one of three different types of defects, including: a defective design, a manufacturing defect, or a lack of adequate instructions or warnings.

Defective Design

Plaintiffs who were injured by a product due to its defective design must be able to meet one of the two following standards:

  • The Consumer Expectations Standard, which requires plaintiffs to prove that a product is more dangerous than a reasonable consumer would expect; or
  • The Risk-Utility Standard, which asks whether the injury that resulted from a product’s use was severe or likely enough to outweigh the burden of taking precautionary measures to prevent that occurrence.

Only when one of these standards has been met will an injured consumer be entitled to compensatory damages.

Manufacturing Defect

Many products cause injuries not because of a flawed design, but because of a mistake in the manufacturing process. These types of claims are referred to as manufacturing defect suits and are often argued under the legal theory of strict liability, as the manufacturer’s intent or degree of care is often irrelevant. Instead, the plaintiff need only prove that the product was defective.

Labeling Defects

Plaintiffs who file labeling defect claims must prove that a certain product was inherently dangerous, as a result of which, the manufacturer had a legal duty to warn consumers of those dangers, but failed to do so. Only by proving that a company failed to provide warnings of discoverable risks or provided them in a way that was difficult to see or understand, can that entity be held liable for resulting injuries.

Set up a Free Case Review Today

To schedule a free consultation with a dedicated product liability lawyer who can explain your legal options, please call the O’Donnell Law Offices at 570-821-5717 today.

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