Products Liability

  • On behalf of a manufacturer of cart corrals, we stuck to our no-pay position and obtained a voluntary dismissal of our client.  The elderly Plaintiff grabbed a shopping cart in a discount store, backed up and tripped and fell, allegedly over the base of a cart corral.  The store removed and discarded the subject cart corral a few months after Plaintiff’s accident – before any of the parties had a chance to inspect the product.  We argued that spoliation by the store prevented the manufacturer from mounting a products liability defense.  It also inhibited the ability of Plaintiff’s expert to mount a case against our client.  Plaintiff’s counsel thereafter focused his case entirely on the store which ended up making a six-figure settlement payment.  Our client paid nothing.

  • Defended a manufacturer of shopping carts against suit brought on behalf of a child who fell from the cart and suffered traumatic brain injury. The Superior Court of New Jersey granted our early motion for dismissal based on the argument that our client had been irreparably prejudiced by the lack of retention of the subject product, thus depriving us of the opportunity to identify its condition and whether or not it was defective as alleged.

  • Secured a "no cause" for the manufacturer of a patty-making machine which traumatically amputated several of Plaintiff's fingers on his dominant hand while he was using the machine at work for a hamburger chain. Plaintiff turned off the machine but did not unplug it before intentionally reaching up into the machinery to clear meat which had stuck to the mold plate. The machine started unexpectedly. At binding arbitration, the arbitrator found that Plaintiff's expert had utilized an incorrect engineering standard in his analysis and agreed with our position that no practical design existed that would have prevented Plaintiff's injury without substantially impairing the intended function of the machine.

  • Successfully guided a global scuba equipment manufacturer through the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Fast Track Recall process amidst complaints of a malfunctioning regulator.

  • Secured a structured settlement from three different parties for the decedent machine operator's two year old son after his father was killed while trying to repair industrial punch press machinery. Our suit alleging defective design and warnings against the original machine manufacturer and its various successors also included intentional tort claims against decedent's employer who had ignored recommendations to add guards as well as institute a lockout/tagout program which could have prevented their employee's death.

  • Defended the manufacturer of bottle-making machinery sued by a worker severely burned after his clothing ignited from contact with molten glass heated to over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Medical treatment costs alone exceeded $1M dollars. In an attempt to remedy a malfunction Plaintiff reached over a moving conveyor of super-heated bottles without shutting down or diverting the line. We rebutted the claim of Plaintiff's expert that a flip-up guard should have been originally installed by demonstrating that repairs can and should be made safely from the back of the machine, not over the moving line, and that properly worn safety gear would have prevented ignition. We further demonstrated that our client's original design had been substantially altered and modified by Plaintiff's employer prior to the accident in a manner which factored into it. We resolved the case short of trial in mediation where our co-defendant paid the bulk of a conservative settlement.

  • Eight days of trial, four experts and numerous other lay witnesses in the Plaintiff's case in Middlesex County caused the long time "no pay" rock crusher manufacturer to abandon that position, making an offer our client was pleased to accept. Our client, an experienced heavy equipment operator, suffered multiple head, back and leg fractures, degloving of the penis and scrotum, concussion, and a subsequent heart attack, among other injuries, after standing atop the crusher's rotor when another worker cleared the jam, causing the rotor to move and Plaintiff to lose his balance, falling into the crushing chamber and slowly moving 18 ton rotor. Given the appropriate machine design, we tried the case on an inadequate warning and instruction theory in this workplace setting.

  • Negotiated a global settlement between the injured worker, his employer, the meat grinder manufacturer and the company which serviced the machine for our mid-sized supermarket client whose workers' compensation insurance had lapsed hours before their illegal immigrant kitchen worker lost most of his arm in a meat grinder.

  • Obtained a six-figure settlement without suit for a 30-year-old boat owner who suffered significant burns to her face when an improperly designed aerosol can of starter fluid leaked. Ignited by her candle as she searched a boat compartment, it flashed upward and burned her face and hands.
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