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  • How Common Are Design and Manufacturing Defects?

    Our Philadelphia Products Liability Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Fight for Clients Injured by Defectively Designed and Manufactured ProductsAlthough product manufacturers have a duty to ensure the safety of their products, many injuries and hospitalizations occur every year due to defective products. Five to ten percent of all annual personal injury lawsuits are due to harm caused by defective products.

    Consumers have the right to expect that the products they purchase are safe and pose no risk of harm. Defective products are largely due to two separate categories:

    • Design defects: Design defects, which are flaws in a product’s fundamental concept or design, can have a far-reaching impact on an entire product line. These defects are more widespread and potentially more dangerous than manufacturing defects. For instance, a vehicle designed with inadequate safety features could be more prone to accidents, or the use of toxic materials in a household product could pose a serious health risk. Such design flaws can compromise a product’s safety, making it crucial for consumers to be aware of these potential dangers.
    • Manufacturing defects: Manufacturing defects  typically  occur during the production of the part or component that were made  or produced improperly. Generally,  a manufacturing defect  affect a limited number of products within a certain batch, not the entire product  line. These defects occur due to errors or problems in the manufacturing process or quality control causing  products produced failing to meet product specifications. Examples include using substandard or faulty components, errors in the  manufacturing and/or  assembly  process or contamination of foreign substances.

    Designers and manufacturers are required to make safe products, but many consumers are injured by dangerous products every year. In 2022, the National Safety Council reported that a total of 12.7 million people were treated in emergency rooms for injuries caused by consumer products. Products liability refers to the designers’ and manufacturers’ legal responsibility to compensate consumers, and bystanders in some cases, for injuries suffered due to their defective products. The law also extends to suppliers and retailers of the product.

    What Are the Most Common Types of Defective Products?

    Many different types of product defects can occur, such as structural, mechanical, or toxic or flammable ingredients, that can cause serious injuries and death. Some of the most commonly affected products include:

    • Appliances
    • Children’s toys
    • Food products and packaging
    • Furniture
    • Industrial/workplace machinery
    • Medical devices and implants
    • Power tools
    • Prescription and over-the-counter medications
    • Vehicle airbags, tires, brakes, and other auto parts
    • Workplace materials

    What Are Common Injuries Caused by Defective Products?

    Consumer products are supposed to be designed and manufactured for both their safe intended and other foreseeable uses. Despite requirements, many products are designed with inherent defects, posing safety risks and resulting in injuries, such as the following:

    • Amputation
    • Broken bones and fractures
    • Burns
    • Choking
    • Cuts and lacerations
    • Death
    • Drug-related injuries
    • Emotional anguish
    • Head and traumatic brain injuries
    • Organ damage

    How Can I Prove That a Defective Product Caused My Injuries?

    When a product injures a person, the court is concerned with how the accident and injury occurred, the severity of the injuries, and whether the product is truly defective and caused the injuries. Additionally, strict liability applies in products liability cases. Strict liability is a legal doctrine that holds manufacturers, distributors, and sellers responsible for injuries caused by defective products, regardless of whether they were negligent. This doctrine is based on the premise that those who put products into the stream of commerce should be accountable for any harm those products cause, regardless of fault.

    What Compensation Am I Entitled to for Defective Product Injuries?

    If you have been injured due to a defective product, you may be eligible for compensation, including but not limited to:

    • Current and ongoing future medical expenses
    • Lost wages and future earning capacity
    • Disability
    • Pain and suffering
    • Emotional distress or mental anguish
    • Loss of life enjoyment
    • Loss of consortium
    • Scarring and disfigurement
    • Wrongful death

    Depending on the circumstances, you may also be eligible for punitive damages. These damages are designed to punish the responsible party for their negligent or intentional actions and prevent them from engaging in the same acts in the future.

    In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for filing a products liability claim is two years from the date of the accident or death, with one exception. If symptoms of the injury are not present at the time of the injury, such as a medical device that causes an injury, illness, or degenerative condition, the statute of limitations extends to the date the injury is first discovered or diagnosed.

    What Should I Do if I Am Injured by a Defective Product?

    Given the complexities of a products liability claim, gathering evidence is crucial. Following an injury from a defective product, you should take the following steps:

    • Keep the item that caused your injuries, including all the packaging, instructions, and warranties or disclaimers.
    • Write down a detailed account of the accident and injuries you suffered as soon as possible, including your actions preceding the accident and how you used the product before the accident to dispute claims that your actions caused the malfunction and injuries.
    • Avoid posting or commenting about the company, product, or your accident and injuries online.
    • Photograph the product, how it failed, your injuries, and any associated damage.
    • Gather contact information and statements from any witnesses.
    • Seek medical attention, even if your injuries are minor. Some internal injuries have delayed symptoms and can be life-threatening if left untreated. The medical report documenting your injuries is also required for your claim.
    • Maintain all medical records, communication, and invoices for the product failure and your injuries.
    • Hire an experienced products liability lawyer.

    Should I Consult a Lawyer if I Am Injured by a Defective Product?

    You should always seek legal representation if a defective product has injured you. Galfand Berger LLP has fought for the rights of those injured by defective products for decades, successfully recovering hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation.

    Some of our recent cases:

    • $36 million recoveryfor workers injured and killed when a defective large steel-producing machine exploded.
    • $10.6 million settlementfor two workers burned by pure sulfuric acid, one of whom was killed, due to a defectively designed 6,000-gallon storage tank.
    • $5.1 million settlementfor four workers injured, one fatally burned by molten metal due to a defectively designed casting machine.

    Our Philadelphia Products Liability Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Fight for Clients Injured by Defectively Designed and Manufactured Products

    Many people suffer injuries each year due to defectively designed or manufactured products. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to a defective product, our Philadelphia products liability lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP can help you fight back and seek justice. Call today at 800-222-USWA (8792) or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including Allentown and Harrisburg.

    1-800-222-USWA (8792)