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 accidents, slip and/or trip and fall accidents, auto 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:
- To Compete or Not to Compete: The Definitive Insider's Guide to Non-Compete Agreements Under New York Law
- When Schools Fail to Protect Our Kids
- When You Don't Have a Written Agreement
- Why Most Accident Victims Do Not Recover the Full Value of Their Claim
- Why Are There So Few Successful Defective Products Lawsuits?
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.
In this particular case, there was a stark factual discrepancy between the plaintiff, who alleged that he was pushed off the roof of a 3 story apartment building by a police officer that was chasing him, and the police officer's claim that the plaintiff was in the process of running away from the police when the plaintiff lost his grip on the roof's ledge.
The jury sided with the plaintiff, finding more credible the claim by plaintiff. I suspect that the reason they bought plaintiff's version of events is because he conceded that the police officer did not intend to push him off the roof; according to the plaintiff, the police officer merely intended to push him off of a short 2 foot high paparet wall. And by conceding that small point, or "giving a little," he got a lot: the jury awarded him $4.6 million in damages for his personal injuries, which were quite severe: a fractured spine which resulted in paralysis.