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When household products do you harm

Are the products we are using on a day-to-day basis deleterious to our health? If so, some of them could be brand names we have trusted and purchased for decades. Even though products on supermarket shelves may be FDA approved, they could still hold potential risks. The injury from a defective product might be relatively minor, such as a mild rash from an improperly tested skin lotion, or it might be as serious as automobile brakes that fail under a particular set of circumstances.

Trusted brands?

On October 28, Deborah Giannecchini of California was awarded in excess of $70 million in a lawsuit where she claimed that using Johnson & Johnson's baby powder for years caused her cancer. The suit accused Johnson & Johnson of negligence in the making of its well-known baby powder that contains talc. However, according to the American Cancer Society, previous studies have not been overwhelmingly conclusive as to the causality of cancer from using talcum powder products.

Who's responsible?

An interesting and curious point in product law is that in most states a person may be entitled to compensation for damages due to a defective product without having purchased the product. If the defective product could have caused foreseeable harm to someone, that may be enough to create liability. The liability could ultimately rest with the manufacturer of the product's parts, the wholesaler, the particular retail store where the product was purchased or the manufacturer itself.

Time limit for damages

There is a time limit for filing a lawsuit against the alleged negligence of a manufacturer. This time limit is called a statute of limitations. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations resulting in physical and/or mental harm from a defective product is two years. The clock usually starts ticking from the date of the injury that resulted from the defective product. However, in some cases it may start from the discovery of the injury, which could occur later than the exact date that the injury was inflicted.

Let the buyer beware! The fact that a brand name has been on store shelves for decades is no proof that the product is not harmful to your health. Experienced legal counsel can potentially get injured victims of a defective product the compensation and medical care to which they are entitled.

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