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Articles Posted in Defective Products

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In a Syracuse product liability lawsuit, the plaintiff may have multiple theories of liability – design defect, failure to warn, negligence, etc. Because several different entities in the supply chain may be held liable, these types of cases may have multiple defendants, as well.

Often, one or more defendants will seek to have the case dismissed as to them. Depending upon how the court rules on these motions, the case may proceed to trial against a single defendant or multiple defendants, or it may be dismissed entirely. The testimony of expert witnesses is often crucial in these cases, as the plaintiff must be able to show that there is enough evidence for the case to proceed to trial.

Facts of the Case

The plaintiffs in a recent case were a man who was allegedly pinned and crushed due to a malfunctioning remote control device that was used to operate a boom crane. The plaintiff, joined by his wife, filed suit against several entities that they believed were responsible for the manufacturing, distribution, and sale of the device, asserting claims for strict liability and breach of warranty. After the man died in 2016, his wife continued the action both individually and as the administratrix of his estate, adding wrongful death and conscious pain and suffering causes of actions.

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A Syracuse personal injury lawsuit may involve one defendant or multiple defendants. Likewise, a single theory of liability may be asserted, or multiple theories may be included in the plaintiff’s complaint for damages.

The more defendants and the more theories of liability, the more likely it is that some of the claims against the defendant(s) will be dismissed prior to trial. Typically, this is done through the summary judgment process. A party who is aggrieved by a trial court’s decision on a motion for summary judgment may opt to ask an appellate court to review the matter.

Facts of the Case

In a recently decided appellate court decision, the plaintiff was a limousine company employee who was driving a bus made by the defendant bus manufacturer when, in 2012, she stopped at a gas station owned by the defendant gas station owner to refuel. According to the plaintiff, she put the nozzle of the pump into the bus’s fuel tank, engaged the hold-open clip on the nozzle, and waited while the bus refueled. When fuel began to spill out, she disengaged the clip, stopped the flow of fuel, and waited for the pressure to subside. When she removed the nozzle about 20 or 30 seconds later, fuel ejected from the tank and into her eyes, as well as onto her face and body.

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It is a festive time of year when millions of people across the country are putting up Christmas trees and decorations in their homes. A fire from faulty Christmas tree lights or defective holiday decorations can spread through a space at a terrifying speed. In a moment, flames can engulf a room and destroy furniture as well as other property. In the most serious cases, these fires can cause serious injuries and even death to individuals in the home. If you or a loved one is injured as a result of a defective Christmas product, you need to reach out to a skilled Syracuse product liability attorney without delay. Our firm can examine the facts of your case and help you pursue the compensation you deserve for your harm.

The American Red Cross reports that about 47,000 fires take place during winter holidays across the United States. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Christmas trees account for more than 200 home fires, on average, each year. These fires are responsible for $17.3 million in property damage each holiday season. The NFPA report also found that one out of every 34 Christmas tree fires resulted in a death, compared to the overall average of one death out of every 142 home fires.

New York law requires the manufacturers and sellers of products to make sure that their products are not in any way defective or dangerous to a user. Companies are obligated to provide warnings if any part of their product may be unsafe or if using the product in a certain way could cause injuries. If you have been hurt by a defective product (i.e., defective Christmas lights catching on fire), you may be able to recover compensation through a product liability claim. Product liability refers to a manufacturer or seller being held liable for placing a defective product into the stream of commerce, and ultimately into the hands of a consumer. The only thing a plaintiff needs to establish in such cases is that the product was dangerous when it left the manufacturer’s control, and there was no warning to indicate the risk of unreasonable danger.

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Today we wrap up our six-part series on children’s product recalls. We have looked at the basics of these types of recalls and also took a close look at specific examples that readers should be aware of. In the end, the question you may be left with is: so how do I keep my child safe from these products? The answer is a bit difficult. While we can’t even be certain that a product is going to be safe when we buy it, we can do our best to stay informed.

A good resource is the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission website. There you can learn about various types of recalls, not just those related to children. If you are looking for a website that might be a little more fine-tuned to children’s products, a site like may be the place to go. On that website, you can sign up to receive recall notifications by email.

While being proactive and keeping an eye on these websites is a great way to keep ahead of dangerous products, it will not keep every child safe. The unfortunate reality is that there will continue to be dangerous products out on the market. Even worse, the manufacturer will be aware of some of these defective products but may do little to warn consumers.

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In today’s post we continue our discussion of defective products that led to children being injured or killed. The case we will look at today has specific legal implications because the tragedy ended in a lawsuit against the product manufacturer.

The scenario was devastating. A woman was driving her car with her 4-month-old securely strapped into an Evenflo car seat in the back when she was forced off the road by another vehicle. During the incident, the plastic hook that secured the seat to the car’s seat belt snapped, causing the car seat to fly out the window. Although the child was strapped into the car seat, he did not survive.

The child’s parents eventually sued the company, winning $10.4 million in compensatory and punitive damages. The company had to reveal that the car seat model had a tendency to crack just like a previous model that had been recalled did. Not only that, the company was aware of the issue as shown in tests that they conducted. Unfortunately, the company did not technically have to reveal their findings because the tests were done at a speed higher than the federal testing requirement.

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Previously we looked at a case where a rubbery toy nearly suffocated a child. The incident caused the mother of the child to campaign for its removal from the market. Unfortunately, not all cases of defective products turn out this way. In many cases, the product proves to be fatal, leaving parents devastated.

One of these cases is related to a product that is specifically bought by many parents to keep their child safe: a baby monitor. Parents all across our country buy baby monitors in order to make sure their child is safely asleep or is safe while playing in his or her room. It gives parents peace of mind, especially throughout the night.

Unfortunately, the product that was meant to keep 10-month-old Savannah safe ultimately took her life. The girl’s family used a baby monitor over her crib to keep an eye on her. They put the video monitor out of reach of the child, but at some point she reached a milestone and stood up on her own. Within one day of reaching that milestone, the girl reached for the monitor and the cord ended up strangling her.

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In our last two posts on this topic we covered the basics of recalls related to children’s products and discussed the various types of issues that may happen with certain kids’ products. Today we take a deeper look at some very personal stories that either injured or took the life of a child.

Take, for example, a seemingly innocent toy called the Yo-Yo Water Ball. It’s a rubbery ball that’s attached to a rubbery string that kids can put on their finger and bounce around much like a typical yo-yo toy.

Back in 2003, a 5-year-old boy was playing with the toy. He was swinging it around his head when the cord wrapped around the boy’s neck four times. The boy ran to his mother who promptly ripped the cord in two. The boy thankfully survived the ordeal but was left with strangulation marks on his neck for a few days. Thankfully, this incident did not have a tragic outcome. The mother contacted the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and found out that the toy was under investigation already. She campaigned to get the toy removed from the market, contacting politicians and different media outlets. Her efforts have made an impact in various states including New York, where these toys are now banned.

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In today’s post, we continue our discussion on children’s product recalls. While we may know general facts about the different recalls that have happened, it can be a good idea to understand what kind of issues different types of children’s products may have in terms of safety.

Here are some different products and the issues that have been associated with them that led to a recall or corrective action:

–Cradles or bassinets: entrapment or suffocation, entanglement hazards, risk of falling, risk of injury from tipping

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We hear about child-related product recalls every now and then, especially when they lead to a tragic outcome. If you go to websites such as, you can read through many tragic stories of products hurting or killing children. The problem is a lot more frequent than some readers may think.

In fact, kids’ products are recalled more than two times every week. That amounts to more than 100 children’s product recalls every year. The issue with these types of product recalls is that companies don’t exactly spend a lot of resources advertising the recall. They will usually send out a press release to let consumers know. That’s why it is important to keep an eye on product recall websites in order to keep track of recalled items. Chances are good that you may have a recalled product in your home at one time or another.

Just about anything can be recalled: toys, cribs, bouncers, high chairs, you name it. These recalls are usually regulated by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), although this agency can’t really force a company to recall an item. The hope is that the company makes that decision after learning of any defects or issues related to a product in order to protect consumers.

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We’ve been looking in recent posts at the issue of product recalls and product liability litigation. Last time, we began looking at how product recall can sometimes, in some states, be used as evidence of liability for negligence in connection with a defective or dangerous product. That is not the case here in New York, which subscribes to the though there are certain exceptions.

Another possible way a recall can go badly for a company is when the company, knowing litigation is possible, destroys evidence that could demonstrate its own negligence. This is known as spoliation, and can sometimes serve as a basis for product liability. The point we’ve been trying to make with respect to how recalls are conducted is that companies who don’t conduct careful recalls can open themselves up to liability, though there may be limitations on plaintiffs’ ability to use recalls as evidence of liability due to the subsequent remedial measures rule.  

Another potential limitation on plaintiffs in product liability cases where a recall has been issued is that a company may have the ability to assert the defense that the plaintiff assumed the risk of using a product after receiving a warning through a recall notice or some other means but continued to use the product.

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