Visitor Question

Faulty Oven Door Causes Injury…

Submitted By: Lauren (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?

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 Lauren,

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…

Product Liability

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.

Premises Liability

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 a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: August 11, 2011

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One thought on “Faulty Oven Door Causes Injury…

  1. I kave a Jenn Air JW530DDP and the door feel off. No abuse and it is the bottom oven on a double wall oven. We have used it twice since purchase and over the weekend my wife put bread in it to keep it warm. As she pulled the door open both hinges simply let go and it crashed to the floor.

    We sustained cabinet damages, floor damages and the door itself was seriously damaged. The appliance is only 3 years old and during the first year the hinges were replaced by Jenn Air (defective) and new ones were installed…. Jenn air’s answer here was so sorry to hear about your problem but we will send the parts to fix the oven but no more and you have to pay the labor.

    Seems crooked to me when things have a “reasonable expectation of failure”, like it will not heat or the control is bad – I understand those are my problems. But the DOOR FELL OFF. This is not a reasonable expectation of a foreseeable failure.

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