Visitor Question

Power Tool Malfunction Causes Injury…

Submitted By: Nikki (Florida)

I was hoping you could comment on the following personal injury product liability scenario…

Ben purchases an electric saw at a national chain home improvement store. Barbara borrows the saw from Ben, and Edward, a neighbor across the street, is seriously injured when the blade of the saw flies off during use and hits him in the arm.

Edward files a lawsuit for negligence against:

1) The home improvement store that sold the saw

2) The manufacturer of the saw

3) The maker of the blade (used by the saw manufacturer when it had other companies make various components of the power tool)

4) Barbara

Can you discuss the basis on which Edward might or might not have a legitimate claim against each of these parties for negligence? Where can I research this further and find out what laws this would pertain to? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Nikki,

Let’s take them one at a time…

The Home Improvement Store:

If a judge or jury decide the electric saw was defective then the store will be liable under the theory of “product liability”.

The Manufacturer of the Electric Saw:

If a judge or jury decide the electric saw was defective Edward will have a successful “product liability” case against the manufacturer as well.

The Maker of the Blade:

If a judge or jury decide the blade manufacturer was negligent in the manufacturer of the blade, this will also fall under a “product liability” case, and the maker of the blade will be also be liable.

Barbara:

If a judge or jury find Barbara was negligent in her use of the blade, her negligence may result in her liability for the damages suffered by Edward.

Barbara though may be able to submit any legal claim to her homeowners insurance company. Whether Barbara was negligent or not doesn’t matter with Homeowners Insurance. Homeowners insurance doesn’t care about negligence. They pay legitimate claims of those injured on, or about an owner’s property without regard to negligence.

In all these scenarios, if the jury finds any of the above to be negligent, including Barbara, the judge or jury can award damages in favor of Edward. Those damages will probably be assessed individually and collectively against all parties. This means until such time as all damages are paid, all parties will remain responsible.

The “damages” are an amount of money paid to Edward for several matters. Damages may include compensation for:

-Edward’s Medical bills.

-His Out of Pocket Expenses, such as prescription and over the counter medications, and other medical aids.

-His Lost Wages for the time Edward was treating, and during his recovery.

-An amount for Pain and Suffering (That is an amount which cannot be quantified like medical bills and lost wages can be. Pain and Suffering is strictly a subjective amount awarded by a jury.)

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: January 29, 2012

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