New Jersey law requires manufacturers and sellers of products to ensure that their products are not in any way defective or dangerous to users. If any part of their product is unsafe or if using the product in a certain way could be hazardous to the user, companies must provide proper warnings. Danger from products may arise in a variety of ways, including:
- Design defect;
- Manufacturing flaw; and
- Failure to Warn.
The most common product liability claim against a manufacturer is usually referred to as a strict liability claim. If you file a strict liability claim against a manufacturer, while you may not have to prove that the manufacturer was negligent (which necessary in most other injury claims), you may have to establish that the product was defective; that the defect existed prior to the manufacturer releasing the product; and that the defect caused your damages. Besides the manufacturer, the distributor and seller of the product may also be liable.
Many of the injuries or deaths that are the result of defective products could have been avoided had manufacturers designed better products or properly warned users of product dangers. For over 35 years, the attorneys at Wolf Law have helped obtain compensation for people injured or killed by dangerous products. We have handled cases ranging from defects in a Paint Sprayer that caused severe burns, to a defective ATV that burned a child’s leg on a unprotected hot muffler, to a handle on a tractor-trailer that pulled out causing a driver to fall. These cases are almost always hard-fought and we are not afraid to take them to the Appellate Division if a Trial Judge fails to properly apply the law. [Click here to see the Appellate Division decision in our successful appeal of a trial court’s dismissal of a product liability claim that eventually resulted in a successful settlement.]
In New Jersey, either the person who was injured or the family of a person who has died as a result a defective product can file a products liability claim if they can prove that the product was dangerous when it left the manufacturer’s control and that there was no warning to indicate the risk of an unreasonable danger.
The successful resolution of a products liability case calls for an attorney who is experienced and dedicated. Contact us today at (732) 741-4448 for a free consultation to discuss your case.
Defective Design of a Product
Design defects exist even before the product is made. They occur when a foreseeable risk of harm could have been reduced or eliminated by using another design. When an injury or death results from the defective design of a product, you must demonstrate that a reasonable manufacturer should have known that the design of the product was defective and that it was foreseeable that the design could cause injury or death to the user of the product.
Once a hazard is identified in a product, the design engineer must reduce the possibility of the dangerous condition of the product causing injury or death. If the dangerous condition can be designed out of the product without destroying the utility of the product, then the dangerous condition must be removed from the product. If this can’t be done, then the dangerous condition of the product must be guarded against. If this can’t be done, then a warning must be given that the dangerous condition of the product can cause injury or death.
A Flaw in the Manufacturing of the Defective Product
Manufacturing defects occur during the making of the product. In a manufacturing flaw case, the claim is that a flaw in the manufacturing caused the defect in the product, which then caused the injury or death. In this case, usually a few products out of the many of the same type are defective because of some error in the manufacturing process.
Manufacturers’ Failure to Warn
The manufacturer of a product that is reasonably certain to be dangerous if used in a way that is foreseeable is under a duty to give adequate warnings of any danger known to him or which in the use of reasonable care he should have known and which the user of the product would have not ordinarily discovered. In that case, the product must include clear, visible and concise warnings outlining the danger and its consequence. The failure to provide a reasonable warning can cause the product to be defective.