It’s not uncommon, on a high-rise construction site or a residential construction project, for a worker to suffer injury because of the malfunction or poor design of a tool, machine or piece of heavy equipment. In addition, workers may sustain serious injury because power tools or other dangerous implements are used in ways not intended by manufacturers.
If the injury is caused by the breakdown, misfiring or faulty functioning of a piece of equipment, the most likely claim for personal injury will be based on product liability. A product liability claim may be based on three different legal theories:
- Negligence in the design of the product
- Negligence in the manufacture of the product
- Negligence in the marketing of the product
A claim based on negligent design alleges that, regardless of the quality of construction, the device was inherently unsafe, as the design failed to reasonably consider all potential risks. For example, a construction crane may be inherently unstable because it has been designed with too much weight near the top or with a high center of gravity. The risk of danger cannot be reduced by any improvements in the manufacture, but only by redesign.
Alternatively, an action alleging negligent manufacture contends that the product had substandard parts, was poorly assembled or perhaps even missing essential components.
Finally, a product liability claim may be based on negligence in marketing. This typically involves a failure to provide adequate warnings on the product. The product manufacturer must generally provide notice of any known risks associated with use of the product, as well as any risks associated with any reasonably expected use of the product. For example, with an extension ladder, if the manufacturer knows that extending the ladder beyond a certain rung is likely to lead to collapse, that danger must be expressly stated on the ladder.
Contact Mallon & Tranger
We offer a free initial consultation to anyone in New Jersey who has been a victim of a personal injury. For a meeting, contact us online or call us at 732-410-6094 (toll free at 877-320-0692) for an appointment. We have offices in Freehold, Toms River and Point Pleasant.