New Jersey Products Liability Lawyers
Safety First… People before Profits. When you make a product, make a safe product.
The manufacturer or seller of a product owes an obligation in New Jersey to sell a product that is reasonably fit, suitable or safe for its intended purpose. A product that does not meet this standard is defective. Products may be defective because the designer decided not plan to account for safety during the design and testing phase. This is called a design defect case. To succeed in such a case, an injured person must prove the existence of a feasible, safer alternative design that does not impair the use of the product.
Products may be defective because they do not meet the manufacturer’s design specifications or were not of the same quality as other products that came off the same assembly line. This is a manufacturing defect, where the manufacturer just did not do the job right according to their own product standards.
A products may also be defective because of a failure to warn people of dangers in the use of the product. Some products have dangerous characteristics that cannot be designed away. In those cases, the manufacturer or seller must provide adequate, easily understandable warnings and instructions about how to best avoid the danger.
The New Jersey Products Liability Act protects people injured by defective products by making the manufacturer or seller strictly liable for personal injuries. This means that the law presumes the manufacturer or seller had knowledge of the defect at the time of sale. However, the injured person must prove that the defect existed when the product was in the hands of the seller. Experienced New Jersey Product Liability Lawyers can help you navigate the complex area of Products Liability Law.
When we first consider taking on a product defect case, ask ourselves some basic and fundamental questions, when we examine whether or not to undertake a products liability case. Would a Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA) performed by a company’s safety and design engineers have led the manufacturer to a safer design? Did the manufacturer consider a safety engineering hierarchy: (1) Eliminate the hazard, if possible; (2) guard against the hazard, if the hazard cannot be eliminated, and; (3) if guards are not possible without impairing the use of the product, then the manufacturer must adequately warn about the dangers. If the manufacturer provided a guard, was it effective, or could an employer or user easily remove or modify?
From our perspective, any risk of injury or death to a human being from the use of a product is unacceptable, if reasonable accident prevention methods could have eliminated or even reduced the risk of harm.
New Jersey law generally requires expert testimony, if the type of engineering analysis needed to prove a defect is beyond the understanding of the ordinary juror. In most cases, an expert witness must state a conclusion about the defect, before a jury can even hear the case.
We will hire one or more engineers to examine whether a product is defective, before we take a case. Most importantly, we always want to understand WHY the product is defective. In the event we obtain expert conclusions that a product is dangerous and defective, we will file a lawsuit with the intention that the case will eventually be tried to a jury. Often, manufacturers refuse to settle products liability cases, or settle under confidential terms.
Jury members have a huge impact on protecting society and improving the safety of products by deterring wrongful conduct. Jurors have the power to change the way corporations do business by holding them accountable not only when their actions cause direct harm to the public, but also when the manner in which business is done is itself a public danger.
Cars and machines break and malfunction. Defective drugs cause unthinkable harm. Chemicals burn victims, poison victims, and cause devastating injuries and tragic deaths to families and children. Sometimes a freak accident happens because a manufacturer put profits over safety.
The auto, drug, chemical and other industries often seek greater protection from corporate responsibility have been taken to court repeatedly for seriously injuring the American public with defective and toxic products. Lawsuits often have the effect of bringing public attention to serious health dangers. Juries have the awesome power to hold a corporation accountable, and force manufacturers to either make products safer, or to remove dangerous products from the marketplace altogether.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a product that you think may be defective, we have the necessary experience to investigate, advise, and provide representation through trial for:
- Design defects
- Manufacturing defects
- Improper or inadequate warnings
The New Jersey products liability lawyers at Shebell & Shebell, LLC believe in holding corporations accountable for the sale of dangerous products, and we will fight hard for you to obtain compensation for injures caused by defective products. Contact us today!