Products liability actions are generally based on claims for defective design, manufacturing defect, as well as inadequate warning and/or information provided with the product itself. The legal theory of tort remains the same, the issue of the duty however may be a commercially acceptable standard, placing the product in the stream of commerce, may be a federal safety standard, may be a standard or failure to properly inspect and test, failure to properly warn or numerous others. Products liability can be brought for something dealing as simple as a teething ring for a child to an 18 wheeler where the manufacturer has placed the fuel tank in an area that unreasonably exposes it to penetration and explosion.
The burden on the moving party is the same as in the above tort action except that, as stated above, if it is a regulation or a business standard, those issues must be addressed over and above custom and/or statutory provision.
[NOTE: It is extremely important in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that the moving party obtain and preserve the alleged defective item so the defendant will have the opportunity to view and test the item. Failure to preserve the item may preclude an injured individual from proceeding in court under a products liability theory.]
At the Time of the Incident:
1.) Try to determine at the time of the incident what product caused the incident.
2.) Determine the condition of the product after the incident.
3.) Maintain control of the product from the time of the incident until you see an attorney.
4.) Witnesses - Locate and identify any and all witnesses to the incident, get the full name, address and telephone number of all witnesses and a statement from the witness even if it is not beneficial.
5.) Try to determine who is the legal owner of the product.
1.) If you believe you have been injured or if you have pain, immediately see a doctor or take yourself to the emergency room at a local hospital.
2.) You must comply with all instructions given to you by a physician and/or medical provider.
3.) You must take all prescription medication as prescribed or it may not give you the benefit as was anticipated.
4.) You must do rehabilitation as prescribed both in regards to the amount and the number of times.
1.) You should obtain a hard cover sewn copybook and keep the following information in the book:
a.) How you feel on a daily basis;
b.) How often you are taking medication on a daily basis;
c.) The date, time and what occurred at your doctor’s visit;
d.) Date, time and what occurred at your physical therapy visits;
e.) A level of pain based on a 1 to 10 scale;
f.) Any and all limitations of your social or married or domestic life which have occurred because of the injuries and what you did as a result of those limitations.
g.) Record all costs that you incur as a result of the injury.
Try to obtain any and all insurance information you can from the owner of the products.