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Design Defects

The process of bringing most products to market involves considerable planning and testing. If certain errors are made during the product development process, the result is that a seller may end up with defectively designed product. 

In some cases, the design defects may be minor issues that can be corrected with mass recalls. In other cases, such defects may trigger much more serious problems, including dangerous conditions that injure or possibly kill the users of defectively designed products.

Attorney for Design Defect Injuries in West Chester, PA

Did you sustain catastrophic injuries or was your loved one was killed by a defectively designed product in southeastern Pennsylvania? Contact Ciccarelli Law Offices as soon as possible. 

Our personal injury lawyers in West Chester have office locations in King of Prussia, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Malvern, Plymouth Square, Radnor, Springfield, and Kennett Square. You can have our attorneys review your case and help you understand all of your legal options as soon as you call (610) 719-3190 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.


Overview of Accidents Caused by Design Defects in Chester County


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Types of Design Defects in Pennsylvania

Many different kinds of consumer products can become dangerous when they are defectively designed. In order for a person to hold a negligent manufacturer accountable for a design defect, he or she will need to prove that his or her injuries were the result of him or her using the product in question as it was intended. 

Some of the types of items that are most commonly involved in product liability claims involving design defects include, but are not limited to: 

  • Household Products; 
  • Medical Devices; 
  • Farm Equipment; 
  • Heavy Machinery; 
  • Chemical Products.

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Liability for Design Defects in West Chester

A design defect is different from an error in manufacturing. In any product liability claim alleging a design defect, the victim (or plaintiff) will need to establish that a design defect exists by proving there was a hypothetical alternative design that would have been safer than the original design but still as economically feasible and practical as the original design while retaining the primary purpose. 

Virtually all product liability claims involving design defects will require proof of the following four elements: 

  • Duty — The defendant owed a legal duty to the plaintiff to provide a safe product when used as intended; 
  • Breach — The defendant breached that legal duty by using a design that was defective; 
  • Injury — Defendant's failure to use design that was not defective caused the plaintiff's injury; and 
  • Damages — The plaintiff was suffered injuries as the result of the defendant's actions. 

Product liability claims based on design defects are usually based on one of the three following claims: 

  • Negligence — The defendant's failure to develop or use a safe design. 
  • Breach of Warranty — The design defect constitutes a breach of an express warranty (products sold with tangible warranties) or an implied warranty (products that do not come with express warranties but will be presumably used for specific purposes). 
  • Strict Liability — Manufacturer is held liable for a defectively designed product based on product's flaws, regardless of any negligence by the manufacturer.

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Design Defects Resources in Pennsylvania

David G. Owen, Design Defects, 73 Mo. L. Rev. (2008) — View the full text of a legal article published in the Spring 2008 Missouri Law Review. The author concludes, "In figuring liability for accidents caused by defective products, the issue of greatest fundamental importance is the concept of design defectiveness." The article is broken into sections covering constructive knowledge (the Wade-Keeton test), combining consumer expectations and risk-utility, and proof of a reasonable alternative design. 

Twerski, Aaron and Henderson, James A. Jr., "Manufacturer's Liability for Defective Product Designs: The Triumph of Risk-Utility" (2009). Cornell Law Faculty Publications — View the full text of a legal article published in the Spring 2009 Cornell Law Faculty Publications. The authors compare the treatment of design defect in the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Products Liability and in the "reaching consensus" article published in 1998. The article also examines ho design defects have been handled in the courts over the last decade.


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Find a Design Defects Injury Lawyer in West Chester, PA

If you suffered severe injuries or your loved one was killed by a defectively designed product in southeastern Pennsylvania, it will be in your best interest to quickly seek legal representation. Ciccarelli Law Offices represents clients in communities throughout Delaware County, Lancaster County, Montgomery County, Chester County, and the greater Philadelphia area. 

Our West Chester personal injury attorneys handle these types of cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay our firm only if you receive a monetary award. Call (610) 719-3190 or complete an online contact form to have our lawyers provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation. 


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