Every day people are injured as the result of dangerously defective products. These products range from household items like pressure cookers and steam humidifiers, to car jacks, prescription medications and even laminate wood flooring. Manufacturers, wholesale distributors and retailers can all be held responsible under New York law if a product that is not reasonably safe for its intended purpose causes an injury.
New York has adopted “strict products liability” for products that are not reasonably safe for their intended purpose. A product can be unsafe because it was manufactured improperly, designed defectively, or lacked adequate instructions or warnings for safe and proper use. If the defective manufacture, unsafe design or failure to warn, or some combination of the three, is the cause of personal injury, everyone in the chain of distribution can be held legally responsible.
Just because someone gets hurt using a product doesn’t automatically mean the product is not reasonably safe. Manufacturers often blame injuries on the consumer’s misuse of a product, or the consumer or a third party altering the product or removing safety devices intended to prevent harm. It is the burden of the person making the claim to prove by a preponderance of the credible evidence that the product was dangerous when it left the manufacturer and caused the injury without being misused or altered before the incident occurred.
In 2018 alone, the lawyers at Kantrowitz Goldhamer & Graifman PC pursued product claims including: wrongful death claims from a fire caused by electrical equipment in a home, multiple serious burn claims caused by an exploding pressure cooker, steam and boiling water from a humidifier, and electrically heated socks. The firm also successfully resolved a significant claim for injuries due to exposure to formaldehyde in laminate wood flooring manufactured in China.
All though KGG takes products liability cases on a contingency basis with no fee unless the client collects, each of these cases required a substantial investment of professional time and money to find appropriate expert witnesses to identify and provide their opinion as to the nature of the defects and how the defect resulted in injury. Understanding what went wrong and being able to explain it to a judge and jury requires a detailed product investigation and collaboration with industry professionals who have in depth understanding of the product and proper design and manufacturing processes.
The victim of a defective product injury, as in most personal injury lawsuits, can recover for economic and non-economic losses. This may include: past and future medical bills, lost wages, reduced ability to work, pain and suffering emotional suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. It is important to act quickly if you have been injured by a defective product. Preserving evidence that could otherwise be lost or destroyed can be critical. Having legal representation in place also keeps persistent insurance adjusters and company representatives from pestering you.
At KGG, we are proud of our long-standing track record of successful recoveries in product liability cases. For more than four decades, KGG lawyers have helped the people of Rockland and Bergen Counties get the compensation they deserve.
Call us toll free at (800)-660-7843 or fill out the form on our website at www.kgglaw.com to schedule a free personal injury consultation. We will review your case thoroughly. If your health prevents you from coming to us, we will make arrangements to come to you!
By Barry Kantrowitz, Esq,
Senior Partner, Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C.