When you purchase a product at the store or online, you expect that it will be safe to use. In fact, the law expects this as well. For that reason, manufacturers, designers, wholesalers, and retailers of products have a duty to ensure the safety of the customers who utilize their products. If a consumer incurs an injury as a result of the use of a product, the seller or manufacturer of that product may be liable under certain circumstances under the body of law called product liability. Product liability attorneys work to both obtain compensation for their clients and to police the sale of consumer products. Without the fear of lawsuits, you would not see many of the warnings and safety devices found on products today.
If you were injured as a result of a defective product, a product liability lawyer in New York City can help you get the compensation you deserve. As an experienced defective product law firm, Moshes Law, P.C. stands up to the large corporations that cut corners and prey on consumers. Our clients have oftentimes suffered serious, life changing injuries and deserve only the best representation. If you are searching for a product liability attorney, contact the Moshes Law Firm today.
Under New York law anyone involved in the process of selling a product may be held responsible for injuries resulting from the use of that product. This includes the following individuals or entities:
It may seem strange at first that a retailer can be held liable for selling a product that was designed or manufactured defectively, because the retailer acted only as the seller. New York law, however, seeks first to protect the consumer, not the corporations that sell defective products. If a retailer is held liable, the retailer can then bring a separate lawsuit against the manufacturer to recover those costs. This is important because oftentimes the manufacturer of a defective product may be located overseas, be no longer in existence, or be difficult for the consumer to locate.
A defective product lawyer will be invaluable to any individual who has been injured as the result of a defective product. Product liability lawsuits can be extremely complex, as the source of the defect must be located. This means that the attorney will have to do significant research into the design and manufacturing of the product. Generally, a product liability attorney will handle all aspects of your case, from filing the complaint to investigating the cause of the defect.
A typical product is designed in the United States, manufactured in China, shipped to the United States, stored by a wholesaler, sold to a retailer, and then sold to a consumer. A defect may occur at any stage in this process, whether the design was flawed or the wholesaler failed to adequately store the item. The job of a product liability lawyer is to determine where the defect took place and which party should ultimately be responsible to cover your damages. This is typically done through the process of discovery, where the attorney sends requests for information to all parties involved in the lawsuit.
Product liability can arise from a number of types of negligence, such as manufacturing defects, design defects, failure to warn, and more. While these theories are discussed below, it is oftentimes difficult to determine exactly which theory applies. For example, whether a malfunction occurred because of a design flaw or a manufacturing error can be an exceedingly hard determination, especially when the other parties are unwilling to share the necessary information.
In today’s day and age, products are becoming more and more complex. Attorneys by themselves are not engineers and oftentimes cannot adequately determine the cause of an accident. Further, the lawyer will eventually have to prove in court how an injury occurred. This is done through the assistance of expert witnesses. Product liability attorneys have access to networks of engineering and other experts who are familiar with the products and injuries they may cause. A successful product liability attorney will consult with numerous experts to determine who is responsible for your injury.
It is often the case that defective product lawsuits are brought against large, multinational companies. Because of this, they often have significant resources available to hire teams of attorneys. In fact, many large companies rather spend more to fight a lawsuit and avoid admitting their mistake than settling with the plaintiff, potentially inviting additional lawsuits by others.
Many individuals who file product liability claims without the assistance of an attorney are unable to effectively value their claim. This means when the first settlement offer comes in, they may think that some money is better than none. This is especially true when the opposing attorneys constantly poke holes in your legal claims. An effective product liability lawyer, however, will properly value your case. He or she will demand the highest compensation for you and will not succumb to the big law firms’ unfair negotiation tactics.
There are numerous types of product liability cases depending both on the type of product and the responsible party. Defective product attorneys must be familiar with all types of product liability cases, as they often overlap. At Moshes Law Firm, P.C., we have experience handling all types of products liability cases in New York. Below is a sampling of the most common types of cases we represent in our practice.
If a product has a design defect, the manufacturer or designer may be responsible for injuries caused by that defect. Design defects occur when the design of the product itself is dangerous and can potentially cause injury. Some products, however, are inherently dangerous, such as lawn mowers. If a designer of a product knows that their product is dangerous, it must do all it can to make the product safer in a reasonable manner. If it is impossible to make the product safe, the designer must then put a warning on the product. A failure by the designer to make the product safe, if possible, may lead to a products liability case.
For example, a lawn mower is inherently dangerous by design. It has rapidly spinning blades that can easily cause injury. It is impossible for the designer to completely remove this risk, as the blades are necessary to the proper functioning of the lawn mower. Rather, there must be safeguards put in place to protect the user, such as auto-off switches and blade guards. Simply leaving exposed blades without adding adequate safeguards would likely be a design defect.
A manufacturing defect occurs when an otherwise safely designed product is rendered dangerous due to an error in the manufacturing process. Generally, quality control in the manufacturing facility will catch any such defects, but this is not always the case. Manufacturing defects can occur in a single product or an entire batch of products. For example, a lawn mower may be manufactured and sold without the auto-off switch working property or a batch of medicine may be manufactured incorrectly.
As previously stated above, not all products can be made safe. These include saws, explosives, and even plastic bags. If the designer cannot make the product safe and is aware of the dangerous condition, it must provide an adequate warning on the product itself so that the user is aware of the potential risks. Failure to warn cases occur when the product either does not have a warning label or the warning label is insufficient or not noticeable. While many Americans laugh at some warning labels, they often have important legal and practical implications, resulting from real life cases.
Marking misrepresentations come in a number of forms. One type is when a seller of a product advertises that the product is able to safely perform a function, when in reality it is not. For example, this is why many vehicle commercials that show the vehicle performing outlandish driving maneuvers contain warning labels. The vehicles are not actually made to perform these maneuvers and attempting to do so may result in injury.
When marketing a product, the seller must also disclose certain information, such as potential risks. This is common in pharmaceuticals, which must inform the user of potential risks associated with the use of the product. If the seller indicates that a drug can solve a potential ailment safely, and fails to disclose the known side effects, they may be liable for committing a marketing misrepresentation. In some aspects, a marketing misrepresentation claim may overlap with a failure to warn claim.
Generally, an individual injured by a product will be entitled to compensation as a result of their injury. While a product liability law firm will seek all potential damages, compensation to the injured client, oftentimes called “damages”, are limited to these three types.
Economic damages are considered the “standard” types of damages in products liability cases. These seek to compensate the injured party for the actual financial expenses he or she has incurred as a result of the injury. For example, if an individual’s arm was injured in a defective airbag deployment, he or she may have medical bills relating to treatment in the hospital and rehabilitation costs to learn to use the arm properly again. All of these costs would be considered economic damages and are typically easily proven by billing evidence.
Beyond medical costs, economic damages also cover things such as lost wages. If you are injured and must take time off of work to heal, or if you are physically unable to perform the duties of your job due to the injury, you may be entitled to the pay you lost as a result of missing work.
In catastrophic cases where injuries are ongoing or permanent, economic damages can be severe. For example, if an individual will require medical treatment for the rest of his or her life, such as a live-in aide, the cost may be in the millions of dollars. The same is true if the injured individual is unable to return to work on a permanent basis because of the injury. In these cases, the parties to the lawsuit will attempt to value the economic harm to the injured person at the time of the lawsuit.
Noneconomic damages are damages suffered by the injured individual that are not related to money. Typically, this constitutes pain and suffering. The injured individual may be entitled to monetary compensation as a result of the physical pain they experienced from the defective product. If the individual suffered permanent scarring, he or she may also be eligible for noneconomic compensation. Pain and suffering may also be mental as well, such as if the injured individual experienced anxiety, PTSD, or other mental anguish from the accident. Thus, an individual who is suffering from PTSD as a result of the defective product may be entitled to economic compensation for therapy and medicines, as well as noneconomic damages for mental anguish.
Punitive damages are noncompensatory, meaning that they are not awarded to compensate the injured party for any loss. Rather, they are awarded as a form of economic punishment to the at fault party. Because of their nature as a punishment, punitive damages are found only in the most egregious of cases, where the defendant’s actions were abhorrent. Generally, punitive damages will not be available to an average plaintiff. Examples of when punitive damages may be awarded include when the defendant hid a serious defect or actively lied to consumers.
Because of their subjective nature, punitive damages are extremely difficult for defective products lawyers to measure. Factors include the cruelty or wanton nature of the defendant’s action and the extent of the injury to the plaintiff. While New York product liability lawyers are not limited to the extent of punitive damages they may seek by law, the United States Supreme Court has capped jury verdicts of punitive damages in certain situations that are egregious, such as cases when a jury awards punitive damages significantly in excess of the economic and noneconomic damages. Punitive damages are rarely obtained in settlements and are typically the result of jury trials.
At Moshes Law Firm, we pride ourselves on our client-centric approach to providing legal services. Our attorneys see themselves first and foremost as services providers to you. We also understand that injuries can be sensitive in nature and lawsuits may be the last thing on you and your familys’ minds. Because of that, we seek to make your legal actions as simple as possible, so that you can focus on what really matters.
Because we are client-focused, we do only what you want us to do. We will never make a decision you are uncomfortable with and will discuss all major decisions with you beforehand. This is your lawsuit, and we are merely assisting you in handling it. We welcome our clients in being as involved in the litigation process as they want to be, whether that means daily updates or weekly calls, we can accommodate your needs.
We are not family attorneys that do products liability on the side. At Moshes Law Firm, we are litigation attorneys and products liability attorneys first. Our lawyers have experience handling product liability cases in and out of the courtroom by negotiating with insurance companies and persuading judges.
While many law firms make promises, not all deliver. We are proud that our legal services produce happy clients and proven results. We have successfully recovered millions of dollars for our clients at trial and in settlement. Our client-centric approach to legal services fosters a meaningful relationship where our attorneys truly understand your wants and needs resulting in an outcome that you will be happy with.
If you have suffered an injury while using a product, you may be eligible for compensation. Even if the product was not defective, manufacturers have the duty to adequately warn consumers and protect them against unforeseeable risks. When you contact an experienced attorney at Moshes Law, P.C., we will provide a free legal consultation and help you understand the legal implications of your case. You may be eligible for compensation without even knowing it. If you have been injured, our attorneys would love to speak with you.
Generally, no. You cannot sue a company for a bad product, unless that product directly caused injury to you for the reasons stated above. If you are unsure whether a product is defective or simply “bad,” a defective product attorney can help answer any questions you may have.
There are numerous defenses that can be raised. The most common is that the consumer misused the product, thereby accepting the additional risk, and that it was not defective if used properly.. For example, if a chainsaw comes with an attached guard and the consumer removes the guard, resulting in injury, the consumer can be said to have accepted the additional risk of using the chainsaw without the guard. Defendants may also argue that the defect occurred after the product was sold, such as if it fell off of a shelf in the plaintiff’s garage and was damaged.
Yes and no. A products liability case may be brought either as a negligence case or a strict liability case. Which avenue to pursue will depend on the facts of the case.
A products liability lawsuit is any lawsuit where a victim of an injury seeks compensation from the manufacturer, designer, or seller of that product that caused the injury. The underlying theory of the lawsuit is that the defendant is liable for the plaintiff’s injury as a result of the profiting off of the dangerous product.
In New York, every party involved in the process of selling a product may be held liable for a defect. This includes manufacturers, designers, wholesalers, and retailers. New York law favors the injured consumer receiving compensation first, and then letting the other parties litigate amongst themselves to determine who is ultimately liable.
At the Moshes Law Firm, we seek justice first and foremost for victims of product defects. Whether your case is part of a larger class action, or a smaller individualized case, we ensure that you get fair treatment and protect your legal rights.
If you have been injured as a result of a defective product, even if you are unsure of whether you can recover, contact an experienced defective product lawyer at the Moshes Law Firm right away.