On behalf of Smiley & Smiley, LLP posted in Defective Products on Tuesday, February 23, 2016.
Defective products are often subjected to a manufacturer's recall nationwide and in New York in those cases where a large number of complaints are received. There are also sometimes class actions filed to obtain relief for a large number of plaintiffs with similar claims that are amenable to mass resolution. When an individual suffers severe injury from a defective product, the best way to claim full monetary compensation is generally through an individual lawsuit claiming product liability.
A recent recall of 1.4 million bath mats advertised as "non-slip" was apparently the result of numerous complaints that they do in fact slip. The product was sold en masse on the home shopping network. Claims widely surfaced that the suction cups didn't stick, the rug moved around, and they were slippery to boot. One woman fell on the Aqua Rug in her shower and suffered a broken leg.
Due to a prior recent hip replacement, she also had to receive additional surgery, reside in assisted living residences and undergo extensive rehabilitation services, according to her lawsuit. This is the kind of claim where a class action would not likely get the plaintiff her full measure of damages. She has filed a lawsuit in a federal district court in her state, claiming negligence, product liability and breach of warranty.
It is likely under these facts that the home shopping network may share some of the liability. At least, it is usually the preferred practice in New York to sue the retailer along with the manufacturer, especially where the retailer took a close hand in examining, handling and making untrue promises regarding the product. In this product liability case, the theory of recovery is based on careless or defective design of the product by the manufacturer, along with failure to warn of the inherent dangers. A state action for deceptive business practices may also be a possibility depending on the wording of the consumer protection provisions of the particular jurisdiction.
Source: washingtontimes.com, "Sioux Falls woman sues after slip on now-recalled bathmat", Feb. 21, 2016
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