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Law Offices of Jonathan M. Cooper

New York Noncompete, Trade Secret & School Negligence Blog

This blog by the six-time published author Jonathan Cooper, is intended to educate the general public about issues of interest, particularly innovations and changes in the law, in the areas of non-compete agreements, breach of contract matters, school negligence (and/or negligent supervision), construction accidentsslip and/or trip and fall accidentsauto accidents, and, of course, defective or dangerous products

For additional information on any of these topics, readers are encouraged to download these FREE e-books:

 


4/28/2010
Jonathan Cooper
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NY Court Allows Injured Central Park Sledder's Case to Continue - For Now

In a decision handed down by a New York County trial court on April 22, the court held that the defendants, who left exposed some poles for an exhibit that they were hired to erect, could be held liable for a plaintiff's injuries that were sustained when he came into contact with the pole. For additional information on slip and fall injuries under New York law, please visit Long Island, New York slip and fall attorney Jonathan Cooper's website at www.JonathanCooperLaw.com.

Category: Keyword Search: failure to warn

4/22/2010
Jonathan Cooper
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NY Jury Finds Exercise Chair Lacked Adequate Warning, But Dismisses Case Anyway

In this post, Long Island, New York defective consumer product lawyer Jonathan Cooper discusses how in some cases, a jury can find that a product was defective, but the plaintiffs will still lose their defective products lawsuit. For additional information on this topic, please download a copy of Jonathan Cooper's Free book, "Why There Are So Few Successful Defective Products Lawsuits" from www.ProductsLiabilityBook.com.

Category: Keyword Search: failure to warn

2/25/2010
Jonathan Cooper
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Preemption: Why Some Failure to Warn Claims in NY Are Barred By Federal Law

In this article, Long Island, New York defective products lawyer Jonathan Cooper discusses how the doctrine of Federal Preemption effectively bars some failure to warn claims. For additional Free information on defective products lawsuits generally, and how they operate under New York law, please visit www.ProductsLiabilityBook.com, or contact Mr. Cooper directly at his Long Island office at 516.791.5700.

Category: Keyword Search: failure to warn

9/21/2009
Jonathan Cooper
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For those who have little or no faith in our jury system, take notice. Sometimes, juries get it absolutely right.

Recently, a New York jury concluded that a chemical manufacturer was not responsible (or "liable," in legalese) for an electrical worker's injuries that were sustained when he sprayed the defendant's degreaser while leaning against the top of a utility pole that he was attempting to repair, and then suffered a severe shock.

Although the plaintiff contended that the spray did not adequately warn him that the spray could conduct electricity, and threfore, that there was a risk of sustaining a shock, the defense pointed out that the plaintiff had stepped out of his protective rubber basket, and was not wearing appropriate protective gloves. In short, the jury found that the plaintiff was responsible for his own accident.

This story is yet another example of why there are so few successful defective products lawsuits.

 





Category: Keyword Search: failure to warn

7/30/2009
Jonathan Cooper
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In the near-daily bombardment of announcements of defective product recalls, it is hard for any one recall to really stand out, especially if it does not involve an egregious safety hazard. But, every once in a while, a relatively minor product recall can distinguish itself, if only because the circumstances underlying the recall are unusual, or simply off the beaten path.

Yesterday, the CPSC announced one such recall. And it was noteworthy in two respects: first, this recall has absolutely nothing to do with the actual design of the product - it had to do with the product's instructions. Second, and in the same vein, it wasn't simply a question that the instructions were inadequate or unclear (just imagine if that were the standard that companies employed to issue recalls); rather, they simply forgot to include a critical set of instructions regarding the swing seat's harness.

Consequently, this product recall is distinct from the garden variety recall because it touches upon a failure to warn claim rather than a defective design claim. For more information on the distinctions between these two different types of defective products claims, please see "Why There Are So Few Successful Defective Products Lawsuits."

Category: Keyword Search: failure to warn

6/7/2009
Jonathan Cooper
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Following a recent story on CNN which reported that Chrysler's bankruptcy filing would mean that personal injury lawsuits against the auto manufacturer would now effectively be barred, the predictable response from tort reform advocates of "WHO CARES," was prominently displayed in the blog comments section of the report. My response to that is simple: you should. And here's why: even if you don't drive a Chrysler, someone else who's on the road with you just might. And if no one in the manufacturing  or distribution chain of that vehicle has any incentive to make sure that their consumers are apprised of any defects in the vehicle, whether in its design or manufacture, guess who's being put at risk? That's right - not only the drivers of those vehicles, but everyone around them, including you and me. So before anyone's too quick to dismiss as inconsequential this corollary to Chrysler's bankruptcy filing, perhaps they should take a broader view of the broader impact on consumer safety, and consider the possible impact on them.

Category: Keyword Search: failure to warn

3/8/2009
Jonathan Cooper
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As noted in our news section, a New York jury recently held that the manufacturer of a conveyor system was not liable for the personal injuries suffered by a man whose hand was caught in the machinery. Although the plaintiff's personal injuries in this particular case were severe, it certainly seems - at first blush - like the plaintiff pursued the wrong defendant.  Here's why:

In this case, the plaintiff claimed that the manufacturer should be held responsible for the serious injuries he sustained because the manufacturer should have warned against setting up the machine in close proximity to a table and offloading tray, since such a setup posed a risk of his hand getting caught in the gap between them. To say the least, this is a weak theory of liability, and the jury apparently concurred.

In rendering their verdict, the jury agreed with the defendant manufacturer's assertion that the defendant should not be held liable in negligence or otherwise, because there was no evidence that the product they manufactured was defective, and they should not be held responsible to warn against a dangerous condition that was created by the user (i.e., plaintiff's employer) rather than them.

This raises an important question: presumably, the plaintiff knew there was a weak case against the manufacturer. So why did plaintiff sue the manufacturer rather than what was presumably a much stronger case against his employer? The answer lies in the Workers' Compensation Law, which bars a claimant from suing his employer for work-related personal injuries unless he sustains one of the specifically delineated categories of  "grave injury" set forth in Workers' Compensation Law §11. Realizing the limitations imposed by the law, the plaintiff elected to pursue the only other potentially liable defendant - the manufacturer.

Category: Keyword Search: failure to warn