What to Expect from Product Liability Litigation in Jersey City, NJ
When you purchase a product, you have faith in the manufacturer that their product will not harm you. But what happens if it does and you sustain a severe, life-altering injury? Can you work with a Hudson County Personal Injury Attorney to sue the manufacturer for damages? In this post, we highlight the product liability litigation process.
Choosing a Court
A product liability claim can be brought in either state or federal court, with most plaintiffs preferring the former. Federal courts will usually handle cases that are considered diverse because the plaintiff and defendant are from different states, or one of the parties is from a foreign country. In both courts, the plaintiff may elect to have their trial heard before a jury or a judge.
Serving Complaint and Response
Once the plaintiff has decided where to pursue their case, they will file a complaint against the defendant. This could be the product manufacturer or distributor, depending on the nature and cause of the injury. The complaints must explain the following:
- The parties involved
- An outline of the lawsuit
- The legal theories under which the claim is being made
With the complaint filed, the plaintiff will file a summons and send it to the defendant, who could answer it in a specified time frame. The defendant, who usually has 20 to 30 days, will then file an answer to the allegations and raise any defenses they have.
During this period, the two parties will share information such as evidence and witness statements to familiarize themselves with the other side’s case. The purpose of this stage is to prevent any surprises during the trial. Some of the discovery methods used include:’
- Written Discovery – This includes admission requests, requests for production, and interrogatories, which are questions responded to by the other party)
- Depositions – This is a sworn testimony given by a witness during a question and answers session with an attorney. It is usually done under oath and transcribed by a court reporter.
Before the case goes to trial, the parties will usually agree to, or the court will mandate mediation. This is a conflict resolution process that involves a neutral moderator, called a mediator, the plaintiff, defendant, and their attorneys. The process will involve negotiations by both parties directly to each other, through the mediator, and to the mediator in private.
Mediation is designed to help the parties reach an agreement without the need for a trial. If it is successful, the claim will be settled as agreed by those involved. If not, the case will proceed to trial.
The case will be heard before a judge or jury, depending on the plaintiff’s wishes. Both attorneys will provide an opening statement where they will outline their case. Next, they will proceed to present evidence and examine and cross-examine witnesses. Finally, the attorneys will make a closing argument, including a summary of the case and a convincing conclusion to get the jury or judge to decide in their favor. The judge will then pronounce their decision.
Talk to a Hudson County Personal Injury Attorney
Attorney Anthony Carbone is an experienced Hudson County Personal Injury Attorney with over 30 years of experience handling personal injury cases. If you need help navigating the product liability litigation process, contact him at 201-829-3829 to schedule a consultation today.