Visitor Question

Cut Hands While Using a Product That Broke…

Submitted By: Michael (Omaha, NE)

I was slicing apples with an apple slicer I bought from a national chain retail store. It was a pretty sturdy item (or so I thought), and I actually got a little bit more expensive model just because it looked a little stronger.

Unfortunately, last week I was pushing it down on an apple to slice it into pieces, and the metal slicer in the middle broke and came up through the handle and sliced both of my thumbs pretty deep.

I didn’t need stitches or anything, but it still did (and still does) hurt a lot. I work 2 customer service jobs, so I use my hands for typing all day, and my thumbs rest on the keyboard right where I was cut. Anyway long story short, I took pictures when it happened of my hands cut and the broken slicer still in the apple.

I saved the broken slicer and am curious whether I would have any recourse in this matter against the company that made the product. What do you think? Thanks!

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 Michael,

You do have recourse against the manufacturer as well as the major retail chain which sold you the slicer. This is what is referred to as a “product liability” case. Although you have a strong claim, there is a “circle” which has to be connected before you would be able to receive any compensation for your injury.

The circle has the following components:

-The manufacturer of the slicer and the major retail store must have had a duty to exercise extreme care;

-They breached that duty;

-And that breach resulted in your injury.

They may be accused of not exercising extreme care. That would be a point for the jury to decide. Presuming the jury agreed extreme care wasn’t exercised, the next question for the jury to decide would be if they breached that duty. If so, then the jury must decide if that breach resulted in your injury.

Presume the circle has been completed so far, the next step would be to prove the type of injury sustained, and the damages you suffered.

There may lay your problem. “Damages” are defined as medical bills, out of pocket expenses, lost wages or pain and suffering. You really can’t get past the medical bill portion unless you’ve incurred medical bills, referred to as “Hard Costs” in the legal profession.

You don’t have any. That’s a good thing, and a bad thing. It’s “good” because thankfully you weren’t seriously injured. Its “bad” because your lack of serious injury and resultant Hard Costs make your claim very difficult to prove.

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: October 10, 2011

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