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What is a Product Liability Claim?

Consumers rely on products they buy to be safe and free from dangerous defects. Companies that produce consumer products, in turn, have a duty to make safe products that are free from dangerous defects. Sometimes, however, a dangerously defective product makes its way into the stream of commerce and people can be seriously harmed and injured as a result. When this happens, the victims of dangerous products can seek compensation for their losses through a product liability claim.

What is a Product Liability Claim?

Pennsylvania has state product liability laws in place that can help if you are ever harmed by a defective product in the state. Through the law, you can pursue compensation for your injuries and other losses. The basis of the product liability claim can vary, but there are three main categories of product liability defects that can act as a basis for liability.


  • Manufacturing defect: When a product is defective due to an error in its making, this is considered to be a manufacturing defect. The product would have been safe but for the error in its manufacturing. This kind of defect involves strict liability which means that it does not matter whether or not the manufacturer intended to injure or knew about the defect, they can still be held liable. All that needs to be shown in the claim is that the defective product caused injury.


  • Design defect: Sometimes, even when a product is made precisely according to design specifications, it is still dangerous and it is due to the fact that there is a defect in the design itself. Pennsylvania courts mainly use either the “Consumer Expectations Standard” or the “Risk-Utility Standard.” The Consumer Expectations Standard focuses on whether the product was more dangerous than would be expected by a reasonable consumer. The Risk-Utility Standard asks whether the risk was expected considering the product’s use.


  • Failure to warn: There is often risk associated with using a product regardless of how it was designed and manufactured. The maker of a product has a duty to warn consumers of potential dangers when the product is used as intended.

If you have been injured by a defective product, you can bring a product liability claim, but time is of the essence. Pennsylvania imposes a two-year statute of limitations on such claims. This means that you have two years from the date of injury to file a claim or you risk being barred from filing the claim altogether. There are, of course, limited exceptions to the statute of limitations. One exception, for instance, involves fraudulent concealment. If the defect was fraudulently concealed, the two-year statute of limitations clock does not begin to run until the time when a reasonable person would have discovered the defect in the product caused the injury.

Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys

If you have been hurt by a dangerously defective product or suspect you have been hurt by a dangerously defective product, do not delay in reaching out to the trusted personal injury team at Cooper, Schall & Levy. We can help you get properly compensated for your injuries. Contact us today.