Dangerous products continue to plague our society and cause serious, often catastrophic injury to users of such products. Claims against the designers and manufacturers of defective products are often complex, and they can be expensive due to evidentiary requirements and the size and identity of the defendants, which are frequently large corporations. Pursuit of such claims requires the skill and commitment of experienced product liability lawyers like Maria Janoski, Esq.
Maria began her career working on complex product liability cases, including cases against pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. Such cases require specialized knowledge because they are unique cases that are litigated differently than other types of personal injury cases. Because many of the facts underlying such cases are common to all those injured by defective drugs or medical devices, such cases are consolidated for discovery purposes and are called mass torts. Early in her career, Maria Janoski, Esq. published an article entitled “A Young Lawyer’s Guide to Multidistrict Litigation,” which provides a play-by-play breakdown of how mass torts are litigated.
While working on mass tort cases, Maria was involved in the following mass tort litigations: hormone replacement therapy (HRT), DePuy Pinnacle hip implants, DePuy ASR hip implants, Accutane, Lipitor, and Stryker hip implants.
Maria has also litigated product liability cases involving other types of defective products, including two cases involving injuries caused by automatic doors and one case involving a defective auto-belay system on a portable climbing wall. She has also handled product liability cases involving exposure to chemicals and heavy metals. She has also handled cases involving construction accidents. and a defective construction vehicles. One such case, filed against Caterpillar and alleging a defectively designed track excavator, culminated in a two-week jury trial in Philadelphia that settled following two days of jury deliberation.
Types of Product Liability Claims
Product liability claims are made against the designers and manufacturers of defective products, as well as all suppliers in the chain of distribution. One reason that it is important to hire an experienced product liability attorney is because the research necessary to identify defendants can be challenging, especially if a product has been on the market for a while.
Generally, there are three types of product liability claims:
Failure to warn.
Product liability cases also typically involve claims for negligence, negligence per se, breach of warranty, and strict liability.
Depending on the product at issue and the facts of each case, there can be numerous defenses alleged. These include the workers’ compensation bar, assumption of the risk, expiration of the statute of limitations, federal preemption, and lack of causation. Another common defense is that the product was inherently dangerous, such as a knife or a chainsaw.
Product liability cases rely heavily on expert testimony to prove causation, and it is necessary for a product liability attorney to understand both the underlying science and the evidentiary requirements of proving causation. For example, a skilled product liability must be well versed in the rules and standards for expert witness testimony. In federal court, the standard is called the Daubert standard. In Pennsylvania state court, the standard is the Frye standard. Maria Janoski, Esq. has extensive experience in working with experts to prepare the necessary expert testimony and in briefing and arguing the numerous legal issues that arise from such expert testimony in product liability cases.