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Products Liability Archives


In a case before the Pennsylvania Superior Court, an attorney for Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. et al., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, has argued for a $3. million verdict against the company to be thrown out. The complaint charged that Janssen has failed to adequately warn consumers against the risk its anti-epilepsy drug, Topamax, poses to fetuses in utero. The woman who filed the suit had been taking the drug to treat migraine headaches. Doctors continued to prescribe Topamax during her pregnancy, and the woman's son was born with a cleft lip. 


The debate about the need to label genetically modified organism (GMO) foods continues to rage, with legislation pending in New Hampshire and Rhode Island, and laws already passed in Connecticut and Maine that make such labeling mandatory. Pro-labelers argue that people have a right to know what's in their food. Meanwhile, labeling opponents point out that there is no proven adverse health effect currently attributed to genetically modified foods, and therefore a labeling requirement would be premature at best, and likely unnecessary. 

What is a manufacturing defect?

Pretty much every Pennsylvania resident has had to purchase some sort of consumer product at one time or another. When they purchase products, people expect them to work as they've been advertised. People want to know that they spend their money on products that are going to be useful to their lives.

Products liability: Protecting Pennsylvanians from defects

Whether a product is used on a daily basis, the ability of Pennsylvanians to interact with a dangerous product is not based on the frequency of its use. Simply put, any type of product could be potentially dangerous, if a manufacturing or design error occurred, even if the product was not used right away or often. When a Pennsylvania consumer is harmed by a dangerous product, it is important that he or she understands that they might have the right to pursue a cause of action for the injuries, damages and losses caused by the defective or dangerous product.

Purpose of the Consumer Product Safety Act

Whether it was an item recently purchased or not, residents in Pennsylvania use consumer products on a daily basis. From the toothbrush used to clean a person's teeth to the produce a person eats at meals, the cup used to carry a beverage and the vehicle a person drives from destination to destination, these are all products commonly encounter by consumers. While these items seem relatively safe, certain events can occur causing these items to create an unreasonable risk of injury to consumers.

Are warning labels effectively warning consumers about risks?

Consumers in Pennsylvania are often concerned about the quality and safety of the products he or she purchases no matter the type of the product. It is important not only to consider the manufacturer of the good but also to know that steps have been taken to ensure the safety concerns about the product have been addressed. Whether there are known risks, potential dangers or the possibility of the misuse of a product, placing a warning label on a product allows for a product to remain on the self. But do warning labels serve their purpose and alert consumers about the risks of an item?

What is considered an insufficient warning on a product?

It is natural to think that products such as common household goods and personal products are safe for consumers. Everyday, consumers purchase, use and consume various goods without fear of being harmed by the product. But even when a product is not inherently dangerous or harmful, warning labels serve to ensure safe usage and help to avoid harm to consumers. But what happens if a warning label is not suitable and how is suitability determined?

How can warranties be used in a product liability suit?

When a consumer in Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the nation purchase a product, it is commonly assumed that he or she is purchasing a product of certain quality or reliability. However, not all products meet these standards. When this occurs, this often means that the product is damaged or defective and the consumer will seek a replacement. However, when a product is defective, this could also make the item dangerous. Such a situation could result in consumer injury and possibly a products liability suit.

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