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Product Liability FAQs

December 10, 2019

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim

Bayer, one of the biggest names in the pharmaceutical world, is being sued by a number of plaintiffs for their defective birth control device, Essure. The plaintiffs are claiming that the device migrates from the uterus into the fallopian tubes, puncturing organs, corroding, and breaking into pieces. In their claims, the plaintiffs are stating a number of areas of negligence including breach of negligent risk management, negligent training, and negligence in a failure to warn.

The lawsuits have surprised many people that were not aware that you could sue manufacturers for defective products. For this reason, we wanted to give a brief explanation about product liability by answering some of the most common questions associated with this area of personal injury law.

What is Product Liability Law in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, like in all other states, manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure their products are reasonably safe and that consumers are warned of all risks associated with a product. When manufacturers do not live up to this responsibility, those injured can file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer to reclaim damages they suffered as a result.

Are there Different Types of Product Liability?

Yes. Product liability claims fall into three categories. The first is a manufacturing defect, which means the defect occurred in the actual creation of the product. The second is a design defect, meaning there is an inherent flaw with the design of the product. The third is a failure to warn, which is a large part of the most recent lawsuits against Bayer. Each type of product liability is unique and requires different legal strategies.

How can You Prove a Product was Defective?

This typically happens in court through a consumer expectations test, or a risk-utility test. Both of these tests will establish that the product was unsafe. When cases get this far, a jury will determine if the product was defective. Many times, these tests are unnecessary because these cases often settle out of court.

Do You have to Prove the Manufacturer was Negligent?

Not necessarily. In Pennsylvania, you simply have to prove that the product was defective and that you were injured as a result. However, that doesn’t mean that winning these cases is easy. Manufacturers have teams of experienced lawyers that know how to refute the claims of injured individuals to avoid paying compensation.

What is the Statute of Limitations on Product Liability Claims?

The statute of limitations, or time limit, for filing these claims is two years from the date of injury. If you fail to bring a lawsuit within that time, you will likely lose your right to sue the manufacturer.

Do I Need a Pennsylvania Product Liability Attorney?

It is not required by law that you speak to a Philadelphia product liability attorney about your case. However, having legal representation by your side will give you a better chance of winning your case and securing the maximum amount of compensation.

If you’ve been injured by a defective product, call our attorneys at van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim today. We know how to hold manufacturers responsible so you can recover all the losses you have suffered and receive the fair settlement you deserve. Call us today at (215) 486-0123 for your free consultation to learn more about how we can help.


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