Is It Possible to Have a Product Liability Claim Without The Product?
You purchase a new microwave. Upon your first use of the product, the microwave refuses to heat your food. As you try to figure out the problem, a short in the wire causes a fire, severely burning your hands. The microwave is destroyed and you throw away what’s left. Later, you’re told that you have a product liability claim on your hands. But the item is long gone. Can you still sue?
Just like any other personal injury case, you need to prove the person or item is the cause of your injury. And it’s quite hard to do that without the key piece of evidence. After all, without the product it’s hard to examine the product to determine what made it malfunction or how it was defective in the first place.
But there are times when it isn’t possible for the evidence to exist after the accident. For instance, the defective medical implant had to be discarded after it caused the injury or a fire had destroyed the product. If this happens, then your product liability case will need to rely on circumstantial evidence to prove your case. For instance, many jurisdictions rely on the “malfunction theory” – a theory that allows the plaintiff to show that the product had unexpectedly malfunctioned while being used normally.
It’s much easier to prove your case by preserving the evidence. Even if the product has been burned into a crisp, save it. An expert will still be able to examine the item to see how it malfunctioned.
If you have a defective product that resulted in an injury, consult a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone now for a free consultation.