Harry philo and products liability cases

Harry philo and products liability cases

When I think of products cases I think of Harry Philo. He was the lawyer who wrote about concepts of product safety and principles that apply to the manufacture and sale of products. He wrote about hazard and danger. His publication Lawyer’s Desk Reference was the standard for plaintiff product liability cases. Here are a few of his concepts from this publication.

Hazard A hazard is a condition or changing set of circumstances which present the potential for injury

Risk Risk is simply the probability of injury expressed in percentages

Danger Danger is the unreasonable or unacceptable combination of hazard and risk

Defective product A defective product is one which is not reasonably safe for the reasonably foreseeable uses

Reasonable: Anything that is technically and economically feasible which would eliminate, safeguard or warn about the risk

Principle:

"Any risk of injury or death is unreasonable or unacceptable if reasonable accident prevention methods could eliminated"

"Was it scientifically feasible and economically feasible to design this product in a reasonably safe manner?

The safety steps are: (1) eliminate the danger (2) If it can’t be eliminated establish guards to prevent injury and (3) if guards aren’t feasible, warn about the danger

One thought on “Harry philo and products liability cases

  1. Hi Paul
    Hope you are still looking at this! Nice summary. I have been looking for Philo’s product liability treatise. I find that there are way too many lawyers who just do not have any real clue about safety science – and Philo did a great job of explaining safety science. I’d like to try to raise some awareness.

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