We’ve all read news stories about defective products causing serious injuries and huge lawsuits. A few years ago, GM made headlines when it’s faulty ignition switches caused car accidents and deaths.
In 2002, tobacco product manufacturers had to pay $28 million to a woman who claimed that she developed lung cancer because the company didn’t warn her of the health risks associated with smoking, reports Investopedia.
Another famous product liability case happened when a woman was severely burned by coffee from McDonald’s. She claimed that the coffee was being served at a hazardous temperature.
Pharmaceutical companies are constantly involved in lawsuits regarding health issues that their products cause.
Unfortunately, something like this could happen to you!
If you were injured because of a defective product in Pittsburgh, you might be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to get compensation for your damages.
Keep reading for your guide to product liability in Pittsburgh, PA, and what to do if you’re injured because of a faulty product.
What Kind of Defects Can You Sue For?
Whether you were injured because of medication side effects, or a problem with your vehicle, or spoiled food product, it’s important to understand what kind of defects you are suing for.
- Manufacturing defects: This applies if you were injured because of an error in the assembly of the product. If the part of the product that harmed you was not intended to be part of the product, then you were harmed by a manufacturing defect. Usually, these kinds of defects only occur in a small amount of the manufactured products. Even if the manufacturer claims to have taken care throughout the manufacturing process, they are still responsible for any flaws in manufacturing, under the law of strict liability. According to the Legal Information Institute, “strict liability exists when a defendant is liable for committing an action, regardless of what his/her intent or mental state was when committing the action.” To successfully sue for a manufacturing defect, you need to be able to prove that the defect which caused your injury was present when the product departed the production factory.
- Design defects: In these cases, the defect that caused your injury was part of the original design blueprint of the product in question. In contrast to a manufacturing defect, this aspect of the product was intentional. Also different from a manufacturing defect, a design defect will most likely be present in all of the manufactured products of the same make and model.
- Failure to warn: If the manufacturer failed to warn you of a foreseeable risk of using the product, you can claim that failure to warn resulted in your injuries.
- Inadequate warning labels: This refers to the clarity and accessibility of a product’s warning label. If you didn’t see, understand, or have access to the warning label, you might be able to sue for inadequate warning labels.
What is “Strict Liability?”
If you’re pursuing a lawsuit regarding injuries from a defective product, it’s most likely that your situation will operate under the “strict liability” law. LegalZoom explains that under strict liability, if a product is defective or causes injury, the manufacturer or seller of the product will be liable.
What Evidence Do You Need in a Strict Liability Case?
- You must be able to show proof that you were injured
- You must prove that the actions of the manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer of the product caused the injury (and not a previous accident).
- You must prove that the defendant (the manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer) had control over the product and/or acted in a hazardous way.
Who Can You Sue?
You might have grounds to sue the manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer. Depending on the details of your case, you might be able to sue one or more of these parties. An attorney will help you understand who was really at fault and how to argue your case. For example, if you become sick with severe food poisoning after eating spoiled food, this might be the fault of the retailer storing the product improperly rather than a manufacturing defect.
What Can You Claim in Your Lawsuit?
In most lawsuits, you’ll have the option to claim the following:
- General damages (sometimes called non-economic damages) such as mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and other intangible losses.
- Special damages (sometimes called economic damages) such as hospital bills and loss of income.
- In some cases, you’ll be able to also claim punitive damages, which act as an additional “punishment” on the at-fault party.
Injured in Pittsburgh because of a defective product? It’s time to get justice by claiming your compensation! Scanlon & Wojton, LLC can help you discover your options! Call (412) 918-1241 or message us online.
The Mitchell Building
304 Ross Street, Suite 510
Pittsburgh, PA, 15219
Phone: (412) 918-1241