We rely on consumer goods to get through our busy lives. Our cars, our food, our medications, even our coffee pots have become essential parts of our lives. We put our trust in manufacturers, never suspecting that the products they make might harm rather than help. Unfortunately, defective products injure or kill thousands of people in the United States every year. When flawed products hurt innocent people, manufacturers must take responsibility.
If you have suffered because of a dangerous or mislabeled product, you may have the right to file a lawsuit. Get in touch with The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. in New York City to get expert legal advice regarding your case. With three decades of experience, we know New York product liability law like the back of our hands.
Types of Product Liability Cases
The law recognizes three types of product liability cases, each related to the nature of the defect(s). They include:
- Design Defects: Some products are inherently unsafe. Even before the manufacturing process begins, they suffer from design flaws that make them potentially dangerous to consumers.
- Manufacturing Defects: Many defects appear during the manufacturing or assembly stage when the product is physically made.
- Marketing Defects: Improper labeling, false marketing, and inadequate safety warnings can also contribute to serious injuries and illnesses.
Who Is Responsible for Dangerous Products?
In general, manufacturers are responsible for the safety of their products. It’s their job to ensure that each and every product is tested for flaws and marketed accordingly. That means warning consumers of any potential dangers and instructing them on the proper use of the product.
While manufacturers bear a heavy burden of responsibility, they are not the only accountable party. Anyone along the product’s chain of distribution may be held liable if their actions caused or contributed to the product defect. That includes:
- Product manufacturers
- Parts manufacturers
- Assemblers or installers
Examples of Product Liability Cases
There is no “typical” product liability lawsuit. With so many products and so many consumers, each individual case is unique. That’s why it’s important for victims to speak with an attorney who can assess the facts of their particular case. That being said, here are a few general examples of potential lawsuits:
- Design Defect: An SUV rolls over on a rural road, seriously injuring the occupants, who were driving under the speed limit. After conducting research, their attorney discovers that their particular model suffers from a design defect that makes it especially prone to rollovers.
- Manufacturing Defect: A family becomes sick after eating a meal topped with sour cream. Their lawyer finds out that the batch of sour cream became contaminated after a food processing worker failed to wear gloves while handling the product.
- Marketing Defect: A toddler severely burns his hands after touching the glass that encloses a gas fireplace. After hiring a personal injury lawyer to research the product, the parents learn that the manufacturer provided instructions for the installation of a safety barrier screen, but failed to mention that it was necessary in order to protect people from high glass temperatures. As a result, the installer ignored the instructions and decided not to put the safety screen in place, while the family remained unaware of the danger. In that case, the couple might be able to sue both the manufacturer and the installer.
How to Prove a Product Liability Case in New York
Product liability law is unique. Unlike other personal injury cases, defective product cases require no proof of negligence. The plaintiffs need only prove that the products caused their injuries. Under a legal principle called strict liability, product defects automatically imply negligence.
In other words, someone must have been negligent in order for the product to suffer dangerous flaws. In such cases, the burden of proof shifts to the defendant. In the state of New York and elsewhere, it is up to the manufacturer or any other responsible party to prove that they were not negligent.
New York Defective Product Attorney
If you’ve been injured because of a flawed or mislabeled product, it’s important to find an attorney who knows the ins and outs of New York product liability law. That’s where the product liability attorneys at The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. can help. For 30 years, our law firm has been helping New York City residents gain compensation for their injuries. Contact us anytime to schedule a FREE consultation with a local legal expert.