On a public forum recently, a person asked a question that would fall within the scope of Product Liability law (injuries due to a dangerous or defective product). A juicer had evidently “exploded,” causing a piece to injure this person when it struck him in the eye. He asked, “Should I surrender the Juicer that exploded to the manufacturer?”
My response to the question was as follows:
No, do NOT send the juicer to the manufacturer! There is no legal requirement that you do that, nor do you want to lose control over the key piece of evidence in the case. I have litigated defective product cases in state and federal court, including a case somewhat similar to yours in which a client suffered an eye injury as a result of a defective product. Product liability litigation is amongst the most complex and expensive in personal injury law. When I have a client that has been injured by a defective product, I take possession of that product from the client, and it goes into my evidence storage. It does NOT go to the manufacturer. If a lawsuit is filed, then the manufacturer will be entitled under the rules to inspect the product and/or have it’s expert inspect the product. The inspection will be done on mutually agreeable terms that do not destroy the product. If the parties cannot agree on the procedure for the inspection/testing/analysis, or if the defendant (or plaintiff) needs to do a destruct test and the opposition opposes it, then a hearing will take place in which the Court issues an order outlining the inspection and/or testing procedure.
Apart from what I mentioned above, if injured by a dangerous product, you should also preserve it in the same condition it was in following the injury. If it has broken pieces, then gather them and keep them secure with the rest of the product. These pieces are important evidence. Do not attempt to modify or fix the product in anyway, and certainly do not attempt to run your own tests on it.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a defective product, it is vital that you contact a highly qualified trial attorney quickly. These cases require quick attention for a variety of reasons. I have extensive experience not only handling defective product cases, but litigating them as well. To learn more about defective products and product liability law, please visit this page on my website, and feel free to contact me at 727-848-8892.