Consumers in Somerset County are protected under both state and federal laws from dangerous and defective products, but that does not mean that dangerous and defective products do not make their way into the market anyway. Every year, millions of consumers across the country are injured by dangerous consumer products. Fortunately, consumers who are injured by dangerous products are entitled to compensation for injuries and damages caused by product defects.
Somerset County product liability attorneys know that dangerous products can cause lasting emotional and physical injuries. Our attorneys work to see that that not only do our clients receive a full and fair recovery, but also that manufacturers and sellers of dangerous products are held accountable. There are several theories of recovery in Pennsylvania product liability cases under which injured plaintiffs may seek redress.
Theories of product liability recovery
Depending on facts and circumstances, injured plaintiffs may bring a claim against makers, distributors, and sellers of dangerous products in strict liability, negligence, or breach of warranty.
Strict liability – Under strict liability, plaintiffs will show that the product was defective and that he or she sustained injuries as a result of the defect. Under strict liability it is not necessary to prove that someone was negligent or at fault for the product’s defect.
Negligence – Unlike strict liability, under a theory of negligence a plaintiff will show that the defendant was at fault for the defect that caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
Breach of warranty or misrepresentation – Sometimes a product’s danger is actually because someone in the supply chain breached a warranty or misrepresented something about the safety of the product. For example, if a seller tells you that a particular rope is safe for rock climbing and you rely on that statement, the seller has just made a warranty that the rope is safe to be used for rock climbing. If you are subsequently injured in a rock climbing accident due to the rope failing to withstand the rigors of rock climbing, you have suffered injuries due to a breach of warranty.
Facts to be considered in product liability cases
Depending on the theory of recovery and facts of the case, important details that will be considered in determining liability and whether or not a product is defective include:
- Did the product meet an average consumer’s reasonable expectation of the product’s performance? Or did the product fail to comply with an average consumer’s reasonable expectation?
- Was the extent of the product’s danger obvious to an average consumer? Was there a reasonable and safer design alternative?
- Was proper product research and safety testing conducted?
- Were clear instructions for use provided?
- Were proper warnings regarding the product’s danger communicated to consumers?
- Was there a defect in the manufacture and construction of the product making it unsafe?
- Was there a defect in the product’s design making it unsafe?
- Did the plaintiff rely on an express or implied warranty that was breached causing injury to the plaintiff?