Product Liability & Defective Products

GGSMB&R has been named a Tier 1 firm in New York City for Product Liability Litigation - Plaintiff by U.S. News – Best Lawyers ® “Best Law Firms” in 2014

Gair, Gair, Conason, Steigman, Mackauf, Bloom & Rubinowitz - Top Listed in Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers - Lawyer of the Year 2011

New York and New Jersey law requires that manufacturers and sellers of products ensure that their products are not in any way defective or dangerous to users. Companies must provide proper warning if any part of their product is unsafe or if using the product in a certain way could be hazardous to the user’s safety or health. Many of the injuries or deaths that are the result of defective products could have been avoided if manufacturers designed better products and manufactures and sellers of those products followed the law and properly warned users of product dangers. The attorneys at Gair, Gair, Conason, Steigman, Mackauf, Bloom & Rubinowitz believe that companies who don’t follow the law should be held accountable. For over 40 years our firm has helped obtain compensation for people injured or killed by dangerous products such as:

  • Defective automobiles
  • Defective printing presses
  • Defective power saws
  • Defective drugs
  • Defective machinery
  • Defective airplanes
  • Defective cranes

In New York or New Jersey, either the person who was injured or the family of a person who has died as a result a defective product can file a products liability claim, if they can prove that the product was already dangerous when it left the manufacturer's control and there was no warning to indicate the risk of an unreasonable danger.


There are several types of claims that can be made when injuries or death result from a product:

Defective Design of a Product

In an injury or death resulting from the defective design of a product, the claim is that the product functioned as it was designed but the design was negligent. That is a reasonable manufacturer should have known that the design of the product was defective, that it was foreseeable that the design could cause injury or death to the user of the product. Once a hazard, which is a condition that may cause injury or death, is identified in a product, the design engineer must follow an accepted design priority recognized by all design engineers in reducing the possibility of the dangerous condition of the product causing injury or death.

  • The dangerous condition must be designed out of the product if such can be done without destroying the utility of the product. If this can't be done then:
  • The dangerous condition of the product must be guarded against. If the dangerous condition of the product can't be guarded against then:
  • A warning must be given that the dangerous condition of the product can cause injury or death

In the United States, the claims most commonly associated with product liability are negligence, strict liability, breach of warranty, and various consumer protection claims. The majority of product liability laws are determined at the state level and vary widely from state to state. Each type of product liability claim requires different elements to be proven to present a successful claim.

See: Safety Design Engineering In a New York Product Liability Case

See: Defective Product Design

A Flaw in the Manufacturing of the Defective Product

In a manufacturing flaw case, the claim is that the injury or death was caused by a flaw in the manufacturing of the defective product and that the product was not manufactured properly which resulted in a dangerous condition that made the product defective and dangerous and caused injury or death.

In the United States, the claims most commonly associated with product liability are negligence, strict liability, breach of warranty, and various consumer protection claims. The majority of product liability laws are determined at the state level and vary widely from state to state. Each type of product liability claim requires different elements to be proven to present a successful claim.

Manufacturers' Failure to Warn

The manufacturer of a product which is reasonably certain to be dangerous if used in a way which is foreseeable, is under a duty to give adequate warning of any danger known to him or which in the use of reasonable care he should have known and which the user of the product would have not ordinarily discovered.

In the United States, the claims most commonly associated with product liability are negligence, strict liability, breach of warranty, and various consumer protection claims. The majority of product liability laws are determined at the state level and vary widely from state to state. Each type of product liability claim requires different elements to be proven to present a successful claim.

CASES OF NOTE

The firm's product liability attorneys have achieved verdicts and settlements that are among the largest in New York and New Jersey. Some of the more notable results include:

  • $6,500,000 settlement for the wrongful death of a man killed in an explosion as a result of a defective propane tank.
  • $5,500,000 settlement on behalf of the family of a man killed in the Pan Am 103 plane crash, which occurred in Lockerbie, Scotland.
  • $5,000,000 recovery to the widow of a Citibank employee who was killed in a plane crash in Brazil. The case was brought in New York against the foreign airline and the plane manufacturer.
  • $4,500,000 recovery for victims of a defective diet drug.
  • $4,200,000 settlement in a products liability case for a man who was burned when his fuel tank exploded following an auto accident.
  • $3,500,000 recovery in Suffolk County for the family of a DEA agent killed when the cesspool at his home collapsed.
  • $3,000,000 settlement for a woman who suffered significant leg injuries when thrown from a boat after an engine exploded.
  • $2,650,000 recovery for a married woman with no children who was killed in an American Airlines crash.
  • $2,500,000 recovery in Federal Court in North Carolina for a college student who sustained a leg fracture and severe post-traumatic stress disorder after the commuter plane she was on crashed.
  • $2,200,000 recovery in Westchester County for a woman that sustained an eye injury in an auto accident after she was hit by the air bag.
  • $2,025,000 recovery in Kings County for a construction worker who lost parts of his fingers when his hand was caught in an unguarded opening of a flatbed truck.
  • $2,000,000 settlement in a products liability action in Bronx County on behalf of 9-year old boy who lost sight in his eye due to a defective toy mirror when the glass portion of the minor came out of the plastic housing which had been defectively constructed. The corner of the glass struck one of the boy’s eyes resulting in permanent blindness in the eye.
  • $1,850,000 settlement on behalf of a New Jersey man injured as a result of medical practice and a defective product during an angiogram.
  • $1,850,000 recovery in Nassau County for an unbelted passenger involved in a roll-over collision.
  • $1,675,000 recovery for the family of an older man killed on an American Airlines flight.
  • $1,550,000 recovery for a single male killed in a Swiss Air plane crash.
  • $1,500,000 settlement for a man injured by a defective plastic blending machine.
  • $1,000,000 settlement in products liability action in Bronx County on behalf of laborer who had two fingers cut off by defective mattress pad cutter. Defendants alleged the plaintiff was negligent in using the machine and that it had been substantially modified by plaintiffs employer.
  • $700,000 recovery against a major foreign tire manufacturer for the wrongful death of an older unemployed Brooklyn man.

PUBLICATIONS

  • "Culpable Conduct/Comparative Fault Issues as Applicable to a Products Liability Case", Products Liability in New York, Strategy and Practice 2nd Edition, New York State Bar Association, 2012, Anthony Gair and Rhonda E. Kay.
  • "Combat Culpable Conduct Defense by the Defendant's Design Engineer"
    Leader's Product Liability Law and Strategy, Vol. XVII, No. 12, June 1999, Anthony Gair and Howard S. Hershenhorn
  • "Preparing Plaintiff's Expert in the Post Kumho Era"
    New York State Bar Association, 1999, Anthony Gair
  • "Motions in Limine in New York Products Liability Litigation"
    Products Liability in New York , New York State Bar Association, 1998, Howard Hershenhorn & Loren H. Brown
  • "Fen-Phen: Discovery from the Manufacture and Evaluation of the Potential Plaintiff's Case", "Fen-Phen: Medical Aspects & Potential Liability"
    Law Journal Seminars-Press, 1998, Howard Hershenhorn
  • "Decisions 2000-2001: Products Liability," New York State Trial Lawyers Institute, 2001, Rhonda E. Kay
  • "Culpable Conduct/Comparative Fault Issues as Applicable to a Products Liability Case", Products Liability in New York, Strategy and Practice, New York State Bar Association, 1997, 2002 Supplement, Anthony Gair and Rhonda E. Kay
  • "New Frontier in Products Liability", New York Law Journal, September 16, 1996, Anthony Gair and Howard S. Hershenhorn

The lawyers at Gair, Gair, Conason, Steigman, Mackauf, Bloom & Rubinowitz have more than 90 years of experience representing victims injured or killed by the manufacturer's failure to warn. If you have been injured by a defective product, inadequate protection against hazards, or by other deficiencies in design, manufacture, distribution, and instruction, please Contact our firm to discuss your case.

Disclaimer: Please be advised that the results achieved in any given case depend upon the exact facts and circumstances of that case. Gair, Gair, Conason, Steigman, Mackauf, Bloom & Rubinowitz cannot guarantee a specific result in any legal matter. Any testimonial or case result listed on this site is based on an actual legal case and represents the results achieved in that particular case, and does not constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction of the outcome of any other legal matter.