Whenever you use a product manufactured and sold by a company—whether a household appliance, a garden tool, food, medicine, a car, or a toy for your toddler—you have a right to expect that the product will not present any safety hazards when it is employed for its intended or foreseeable use. Unfortunately, however, there are times when a product is put on the market before it has been thoroughly tested or researched regarding the risks it might present. And, when an injury occurs as a consequence, the manufacturer of the product may be held accountable for those injuries in a product liability lawsuit.
If you have been injured by a defectively designed or manufactured product, contact Queens product liability attorney John Cassisi. For two decades, he has been dedicated to helping clients in Queens, the Bronx, and Brooklyn seek damages to which they are legally entitled for their personal injuries.What is Product Liability?
Product liability cases are a special type of negligence claim, which are based on four elements:
- A defendant owes a duty to the plaintiff;
- The defendant breaches the duty;
- The breach causes an injury to the plaintiff; and
- The plaintiff suffers damages as a result.
In product liability cases, all manufacturers owe a duty to consumers to provide products that serve their intended or foreseeable use without creating an unreasonable risk of physical harm. In cases involving complex products, such as cars, responsible parties may include not only the primary manufacturer but also a parts supplier, such as a tire company. Several of the entities within the chain of manufacture or distribution may owe a duty to the user of a product.
Product liability claims are often based on the argument that a product is defectively designed. An example is a vehicle in which the gas tank is placed in a position where it is likely to be ruptured in a rear-end collision and thereby cause an explosion. If this happens, someone who is harmed can argue that the car has an inherently flawed design that presents an unreasonable risk of injury, and that the carmaker knew or should have known of the flaw but failed to fix it.
There are other theories of product liability besides product design flaw. For example, a claim may be based on defective manufacture. In other words, the product may have been designed safely, but there is a problem in how it was put together that makes injury likely to result. This theory is based on the idea that a product was negligently put together, tested, or inspected.
In a strict product liability case, meanwhile, a plaintiff would show that a product is not defectively made or designed but is simply inherently dangerous. An example might be a toy gun with projectiles that can cause serious injury to children. A plaintiff can claim that the manufacturer knew or should have known that the toy should not have been marketed or sold to children, regardless of any instructions or warnings included with the product.
Another theory involves the “failure to warn.” Such cases often arise from dangerous but useful products, such as power tools. In these cases, even though the user may know that using the tool carries some risk, he or she may not be aware of an non-obvious risk. Thus, the plaintiff can argue that the manufacturer should have placed a warning label on the product to warn of unexpected dangers or risks associated with the product being used in a certain way.
As with other claims in negligence, plaintiffs in product liability cases may pursue damages from injury to person or property, including medical costs, lost income, permanent disability, pain and suffering, and sometimes punitive damages.Contact a Knowledgeable New York Attorney to Discuss Your Product Liability Case
If you or someone close to you has been injured from utilizing a product, such as in an automobile accident or motorcycle accident, you should consult a seasoned Queens personal injury lawyer to determine whether you may have a products liability case, in addition to any other potential negligence claims. To set up a free, no-obligation consultation on your personal injury case, contact John Cassisi at (718) 441-5050, or use our online form.