Faulty Oven Door Causes Injury...
(Santa Rosa Beach, FL)
I was in a rental property and the oven door front panel fell off. I stepped on it accidentally while I was cooking which butterflied (cut) my toe severely. I could not walk or work for 1 1/2 weeks and have no sick pay. I have nerve loss in the half of my toe that was almost cut off.
What legal action is appropriate? IS this a product liability issue or a premises liability issue?
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ANSWER for "Faulty Oven Door Causes Injury...":
Lauren (Santa Rosa Beach, FL):
You ask whether the injuries you sustained can be classified under “Product Liability” or "Premises Liability”. Your injuries can actually be classified under both Premises and Product Liability.
When the oven door fell from the oven and you were injured several legal theories arose...
If you can prove the oven door fell off independent of any unreasonable or inappropriate action of a 3rd party or outside force, the case can be pursued under the legal theory of Product Liability.
For example, if the door fell off and:
A. No one had previously loosened it’s hinges, or
B. Used the oven door in a manner for which it was not intended, or
C. Purposely abused the door, possibly by slamming it repeatedly and unnecessarily, or other willful abusive acts, then their might exist grounds for pursuing a claim or lawsuit under the theory of Product Liability.
Once you have eliminated the above factors your case will be on the right track for pursuing your claim against the oven’s manufacturer.
Like Product Liability, there are issues which must be addressed before a claim or lawsuit can be successful.
From the factors you present there is no evidence the landlord had any previous knowledge the oven might be defective. If she didn’t have any previous knowledge and if she had no compelling reason to examine the oven for defects, the possibility of pursuing a claim for premises liability may be considered.
On the other hand, if the landlord had knowledge the oven door was defective, or if previous tenants had notified her they were having problems with the oven, and she failed to have the oven repaired, the case of Premises Liability may be strong.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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