Product liability refers to the liability that may arise when a product is defective or not reasonably safe. Doctors, patients, or consumers who have been injured by unsafe products may have access to compensation, in the form of a product liability lawsuit.
Our product liability lawyers, [or defective product lawyers], generally handle the following:
- Manufacturing defects, such as missing or incorrectly installed brake pads on a motorcycle
- Design defects, such as unstable shelving that falls
- Inadequate or no product instructions, such as televisions or furniture without tip-over warnings; or lack of instructions on properly anchoring the furniture to the wall.
If you feel a product has caused you harm, contact the product liability (defect) lawyers, led by Gabriella Hashem Farhat, at Pyfer Reese Straub Gray & Farhat to determine if you have a product liability case. Read further to learn more about what residents in Lancaster, York, Ephrata, Willow Street, and surrounding areas can do if they feel a product has caused them harm.
What Are Some Examples of Defective Product Lawsuits?
The Johnson & Johnson v State of Oklahoma product liability case is a well-known example. The state of Oklahoma sued the pharmaceutical company for its role in the opioid crisis. A judge did find Johnson & Johnson liable, and the state was awarded $572 million in damages (later reduced to $465 million).
Of course, the McDonald’s hot coffee case (Liebeck v. McDonald’s) is likely one of the most recognizable product liability lawsuits. In 1992, Stella Liebeck suffered third-degree burns when a McDonald’s coffee she purchased spilled when she removed the lid to add cream and sugar. It’s a misunderstood lawsuit and some labeled it frivolous.
However, before Liebeck’s lawsuit, McDonald’s had received hundreds of complaints of injury from the serving temperature of their coffees. The company manual required coffee to be served at 180-190 degrees Fahrenheit, a much higher temperature than other fast-food chains and a temperature likely to cause third-degree burns.
You can learn more details about the case here. In the end, Liebeck was awarded compensatory and punitive damages.
What Are the Damages In A Defective Product Lawsuit?
Damages are an amount of money to be paid to a person as compensation for loss or injury.
What Is the Law That Covers Product Liability?
There is no single law that covers all product liabilities. There is, however, the Uniform Commercial Code, which is a set of laws governing commercial transactions throughout the United States. Pennsylvania was the first state to adopt the UCC in 1953. Article 2 of this code covers information about contracts and breaches, which are crucial to defective product civil suits.
In summary, producers of a product are liable for any defects that cause injury during normal use. This includes the product’s design, manufacturing, and failure to warn/marketing (instructions & promotion). Product liability includes intangibles, such as gas.
What Does A Product Liability Lawyer Do?
Product liability cases greatly vary. Your lawyer will view yours in terms of the type of defect (manufacturer defect, design defect, or marketing/instructions defect) and personal injury. The parties involved may include you (the buyer), the owner of the product, and the sellers. Otherwise, anyone in the chain.
Product manufacturers and sellers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their products. In Pennsylvania, the consumer or defendant has the burden of proof. The defective product lawyers at Pyfer Reese Straub Gray & Farhat will represent you once we determine you have a case. Since 1976, Pennsylvania clients have trusted us to meet their personal injury law needs. A notable example of a product liability case handled by our Firm involved a pretzel oven that mangled an employee’s hand as the employee was attempting to clean the oven. A product liability suit was filed against the manufacturer and other entities. A substantial confidential settlement was achieved after extensive litigation. This also involved a workers’ compensation claim as the injury occurred in the course and scope of employment; and again, our Firm handled the workers’ compensation claim contemporaneous with the product defect case.