Law Offices of Ronald C. Burke


Products Liability

If you have been injured by a product--any mechanical, electronic, electrical or drug product- you may have a claim for money damages under a theory of law known as strict products liability. A product can be defective because of negligent manufacturing, negligent design, or, a failure to provide the user with appropriate warnings or instructions. At the conclusion of a trial concerning a product which caused an injury the jury in New York is given the following instruction: 

"A manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, or retailer that sells a product in a defective condition is liable for injury that results from use of the product when the product is used for its intended or reasonably foreseeable purpose.

A product is defective if it is not reasonably safe - that is, if the product is so likely to be harmful to persons that a reasonable person who had actual knowledge of its potential for producing injury would conclude that it should not have been marketed in that condition. 

A product may be defective as a result of a manufacturing flaw, a defective design or inadequate warnings or instructions. The burden of proving that the product was defective AND that the defect was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff's injury is on the plaintiff.

It is not necessary to find that the defendant knew or should have known of the product's potential for causing injury in order for you to determine that it was not reasonably safe. It is sufficient that a reasonable person who did in fact know of the product's potential for causing injury would have concluded that the product should not have been marketed in that condition.

The manufacturer of a product which is reasonably certain to be harmful if used in a way that the manufacturer should reasonably foresee is under a duty to use reasonable care to give adequate warning of any danger known to it or which in the use of reasonable care it should have known and which the user of the product ordinarily would not discover. Reasonable care means that degree of care which a reasonably prudent person would use under the same circumstances.

If you find that, at the time the product was marketed there was no manufacturing flaw; it was not defectively designed; no warnings regarding any safety hazards were necessary; the safety warnings accompanying the product were adequate, then you will find that the product was not defective and you need proceed no further in your deliberations on this issue."

If you believe that your injury was due to a defective product call Ron Burke at 212-808-8008 for a free consultation to determine what your legal remedies.

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