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Need a Product Liability Lawyer? Here’s How to File a Claim in New York

Product liability claims can be complicated, with complex legal principles and strict requirements. If you have been hurt by a defective product, navigating the legal system can be difficult. Greenberg & Stein, P.C., a well-known personal injury legal practice in New York, specializes in product liability cases and can help you understand your rights and seek compensation. In this blog, we’ll walk you through the steps of filing a product liability lawsuit in New York.

Understanding Product Liability Law in New York

Product liability legislation holds manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and retailers responsible for any harm caused by defective products. Its goal is to safeguard customers from harm and guarantee that businesses maintain high safety standards.

What is Considered a Defective Product?

A defective product is defined as one that poses an unreasonable level of danger when used as intended or in a manner that can be reasonably anticipated. Defects can occur due to design flaws, manufacturing problems, or insufficient warnings and instructions. Understanding these categories is critical to determining which type of malfunction caused your injury.

What is the Product Liability Law in New York?

New York’s product liability laws establish a strong foundation for protecting consumers from the harm caused by defective items. These rules allow consumers to seek compensation based on three basic legal theories: negligence, strict liability, and breach of warranty.

  1. Negligence: This theory requires the plaintiff to demonstrate that the manufacturer or another entity in the product’s distribution chain did not use reasonable care in the product’s design, manufacturing, or labeling. Negligence can take many forms, including poor quality control, insufficient safety testing, and a failure to offer necessary instructions or warnings. To win a negligence action, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s lack of due care directly caused the injury.
  2. Strict Liability: Under strict liability, the emphasis is on the defective nature of the product rather than the manufacturer’s actions. This idea enables consumers to hold manufacturers liable for damage caused by defective items without the requirement to prove negligence. The plaintiff must demonstrate that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s control, that the flaw rendered the product unreasonably dangerous, and that the defect was the direct cause of the damage. Strict liability may apply to design flaws, manufacturing flaws, and failure to warn.
  3. Breach of Warranty: Breach of warranty claims occur when a product fails to meet the terms of a warranty or guarantee concerning its quality, safety, or performance. There are two sorts of warranties: express warranties (particular warranties made by the manufacturer or seller about the products) and implied warranties (unspoken and unwritten pledges that the product is fit for its intended use and free of hidden flaws). In New York, the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) controls breach of warranty claims, ensuring that consumers can trust the promises made about a product.

New York’s product liability regulations ensure that customers have several options for seeking compensation for injuries caused by defective products. Injured parties can hold manufacturers and other responsible parties accountable and receive the compensation they deserve.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Product Liability Claims in New York?

The statute of limitations for product liability claims in New York is typically three years from the date of damage. It is essential to file your claim within this time frame, as missing the deadline may result in you losing your right to seek compensation. Consulting a lawyer soon after an injury will help ensure that your claim is filed on time.

The Different Types of Product Liability Claims in NY

In New York, product liability claims are divided into three categories: design defects, manufacturing faults, and failure to warn. Each category focuses on a unique aspect of product safety and the obligation of producers and dealers to ensure that their products do not damage customers.

  1. Design Defects: Design defects arise when a product is inherently dangerous due to its design, even if it is manufactured correctly according to specifications. These defects are present in the product from the outset, making the entire line of products unsafe. To prove a design flaw, the plaintiff must show that there exists a safer, viable alternative design that the manufacturer might have used and that omitting this design renders the product excessively harmful.
  2. Manufacturing Defects: Manufacturing defects occur during the production process, resulting in products that deviate from their intended design. These flaws can harm individual goods or batches of products, rendering them unsafe for customers. To win a manufacturing defect claim, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s control and that this imperfection directly caused their injury.
  3. Failure to Warn: Failure to warn, often known as marketing faults, refers to poor instructions or warnings concerning a product’s proper usage or potential hazards. This sort of fault addresses the manufacturer’s responsibility to notify customers about how to use a product properly and what risks they may face. To establish a failure to warn claim, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the maker knew or should have known about the possible hazards but failed to offer adequate warnings or instructions, resulting in the damage.

By categorizing product liability claims into these three types, New York law ensures that all aspects of product safety are addressed, from the initial design to the final user instructions. 

Who Can Be Held Responsible for Product Liability in New York?

Multiple parties can be held responsible in a product liability case, including:

  • Manufacturers: The entities that design and produce the product.
  • Distributors: Companies that supply the product to retailers.
  • Retailers: The stores or online platforms that sell the product to consumers.
  • Suppliers: Companies that provide parts or materials used in the product.

Holding the relevant parties accountable is critical for a successful claim, and an experienced attorney can assist in identifying all responsible parties.

What Is the Process for Filing a Product Liability Claim in New York?

Filing a product liability lawsuit entails several critical procedures, each necessitating meticulous attention to detail and extensive documentation:

  1. Gather Evidence: Collect all relevant documentation, including proof of purchase, product information, medical records, witness statements, and expert testimony.
  2. Identify Defendants: Determine all parties potentially responsible for the defect, including manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and retailers.
  3. Establish Defect and Injury Link: Prove that the product was defective and that it was the direct cause of your injuries. This may include expert analysis and an extensive evidence presentation.
  4. File the Claim: Submit your claim within the statute of limitations, which is generally three years from the date of injury in New York.
  5. Legal Representation: Engage a qualified product liability lawyer to guide you through the legal process, gather and present evidence, and advocate on your behalf.

Following these steps will help you make a compelling case for seeking compensation for injuries caused by defective products.

Evidence You Need

To make a solid argument, it is necessary to collect sufficient evidence, including:

  • Proof of Purchase: Receipts, invoices, or other documents showing you bought the product.
  • Product Information: Manuals, packaging, and labels.
  • Medical Records: Documentation of injuries and treatments.
  • Witness Statements: Accounts from people who saw the incident or have relevant information.
  • Expert Testimony: Opinions from experts who can validate the defect and link it to your injury.

How Do You Prove Product Liability?

To prove product liability, you must show that the product was faulty, that the defect caused your damage, and that you used the product as intended or in a reasonably foreseeable manner. This often necessitates skilled analysis and a thorough presentation of evidence. A professional attorney can assist you in gathering and presenting the evidence you need to support your claim.

What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Product Liability Case in New York?

Victims of defective items may seek several sorts of compensation, including:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Lost Wages
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Property Damage
  • Punitive Damages

Need a New York Product Liability Lawyer? Contact Greenberg & Stein, P.C.

Pursuing a product liability claim can be challenging, but you don’t have to go it alone. Greenberg & Stein, P.C., has significant experience managing product liability lawsuits and can provide the legal support you require to seek justice and compensation. If you or a loved one has been hurt by a defective product, contact Greenberg & Stein, P.C. Call us at 212-681-2535 to schedule a free consultation to review your case.