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Nearly everyone is familiar with the adage caveat emptor, or “let the buyer beware.” Truly, consumers are partly responsible for their purchases; a certain amount of common sense is expected from consumers under the law and, when that common sense is not exercised, legal protections are limited. However, when a product is defective or unreasonably dangerous when used for its intended purpose, and a person is injured or killed as a result, any number of parties associated with the product can be held liable under the doctrine of product liability.
According to product liability law, any or all parties associated with the design, manufacture, and marketing of a defective or dangerous product can be held responsible for injuries or deaths related to that product, depending on the circumstances surrounding the injuries or deaths. If a product is inherently flawed or dangerous in its specifications, then the designer or designers can be held liable. If a flaw results from the manufacturer’s failure to fabricate a product to specifications, then action may be taken against that manufacturer. Marketing defects include unclear or missing warnings of potential hazards or instructions for proper use.
In most product liability cases, the doctrine of strict liability applies. Strict liability refers to the principle that the defect, itself, is evidence enough that an act of negligence occurred; therefore, evidence of a specific act of negligence does not have to be presented in order for the plaintiff to be awarded damages. In most of these cases, personal injury attorneys simply have to demonstrate that a product is defective or unreasonably dangerous and that an injury or wrongful death resulted directly from its use.
It is important to note that not all injuries that result from use of a product can form the basis of a defective product lawsuit. If a person is injured because he or she misused a product or failed to heed clear warnings of possible hazards, he or she may not have a viable lawsuit. Likewise, there are products that are, by nature, dangerous (for example, chainsaws and farm equipment); consumers assume some risk of injury simply by using these products. They are dangerous, of course, but not unreasonably so in relation to their intended uses. Learn more about how Proner & Proner can help you.
Road Rage Incident
Mitchell Proner spoke in support of NYC motorcycle riders and called on NY lawmakers and police not to overreact to a highly publicized road rage incident or to let that incident cast all motorcyclists in a bad light.
Hit and Run
Attorney Mitchell Proner was on hand when the motorist accused of hitting a female jogger on a road in Central Islip appeared in a New York courtroom to answer charges of leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
Attorney Mitchell Proner, an expert on maritime law, spoke about the similarities between the Costa Concordia ferry disaster and the recent Indonesian ferry accident that killed at least 24 people.