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What is a defective product? Ask a Pennsylvania lawyer, and find out if you may have a case.

A product is considered defective if it is sold in an unsafe condition due to any of the following:

  • Poor design – The design of the product is ineffective or careless. When a product defect involves a design flaw, it is inherently hazardous to users even when manufactured properly. One example of a design defect could be a line of sport utility vehicles that regularly flip over when they attempt to turn corners.
  • Manufacturing errors – The product, though designed acceptably, was improperly assembled or constructed, or was made with harmful materials. An example of a manufacturing flaw could be the use of lead-containing paint on a toy for children.
  • Lack of warning or adequate instruction – Some products that are inherently hazardous, even when designed and manufactured properly, serve a specific purpose. These products require disclaimers for users or detailed instructions for how to use them safely. Without the proper warnings, the product could easily be deemed defective. For example, a corrosive chemical missing a label that warns users against touching the chemical to their skin could lead to serious harm.

One of the most well known cases of a recall and controversy around product design was the Ford Pinto. After a number of deaths attributed to the fuel system design in the vehicle, controversy and then litigation followed. Famously, the “Pinto Memo” compared the costs to make fixes to the design v. the costs or injuries and deaths associated with the car. This case is still studied by law students today.

Another famous example is the 2007 Mattel toy recall. The company had to recall approximately one million toys, including toy cars, that contained lead paint.

The Takata Airbag recall was a recent event that sent consumers searching for solution to the exploding airbags that were defective.

While the above examples were large, widespread, and well publicized, there are defective products put on the market every day. Some are recalled, some should be recalled but have not been yet. If you have been injured by a defective product, and need a Pennsylvania lawyer to assess your case, call now for a free consultation. Graham & Mauer attorneys are available by phone and online whenever it is convenient for you.

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