Last week, a New Jersey jury ordered Nissan Motor Company to pay $4.2 Million Dollars to a man seriously injured when a tire fell off a truck in front of him, and then struck the roof of his Nissan Altima. Although the accident occurred in 2006, the article fails to state the model year of the Nissan in question. Once the tire struck the roof of the Plaintiff’s Altima, the roof cracked and pushed the Plaintiff’s head forward, causing the injuries that lead to the lawsuit against Nissan.
The basis of the Plaintiff’s lawsuit appears to be a Product Liability claim, which is a claim brought by an injured person alleging that a dangerous product either caused or contributed to the injuries. As addressed on my website, there are a number of theories that can give rise to an allegation that a product is hazardous. In the case involving the Altima, the Plaintiff alleged that the car was dangerous due to a “design defect” of the roof, and that had this defect not been present, it would not have buckled and he would not have sustained personal injuries by the tire when it struck his car. As part of the evidence presented, the injured Plaintiff argued that alternative designs were safer, such as those used by American automobile manufacturers. Had Nissan used such a design for it’s roof, then the Plaintiff argued that this accident would not have caused the severe personal neck injuries. Therefore, Nissan was negligent when it used such a defective design in the manufacturing of the roof.
My website goes into greater detail about personal injury claims stemming from dangerous products. For example, the following is a cut & paste from just part of what is presented on my site:
Generally speaking, there are implied, and usually expressed, warranties that a manufacturer makes when fabricating a product for use in the marketplace. The three most common types of product liability cases involve injuries or death due to:
- There is a design defect associated with the product. When the design of the product is defective, then typically every product made coming off the assembly line is dangerous;
- There has been a manufacturing flaw associated with a product that has resulted in injury or death. In this scenario, it’s entirely possible that the design of the product was safe, however, as little as a single “bad unit” came off the assembly line for some reason; and/or
- A failure to properly warn on the part of the manufacturer. Many products are just inherently dangerous, which does not make them defective. For example, chainsaws should certainly be handled with great caution, and we would all agree they can be quite dangerous. Therefore, a manufacturer of such a tool has an obligation to properly warn consumers of how to safely use it, and of particular steps that pertain to that particular product to make it as safe as possible.
I have handled many product liability claims over the years, including cases that involve allegation of design defects. Please feel free to review my website page at www.suncoastlaw.com that addresses the various types of product liability injury claims, including design defects. If you have been injured in the Tampa Bay area of Florida (including Tampa, Clearwater, New Port Richey, Wesley Chapel, etc.) by a dangerous product, simply fill out the form below, and I will be happy to contact you.