Visitor Question

Cut Finger on Faulty Can…

Submitted By: Anonymous (USA)

I was injured when I opened up a so-called “easy open” can of fruit. The pop top broke and I had to use a can opener to get the can open enough to get the fruit out. I cut my finger on a sharp jagged edge and four stitches were necessary to close the cut.

Is there any product liability for the can manufacturer?

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 Anonymous,

Although most major manufacturers of canned goods take every precaution to make their products safe, there are times when they fail, and sometimes fail miserably. In your case, and from the facts you present it seems quite clear you were making every attempt to open the can properly.

There are instances when products have caused personal injuries to those using the product where the courts have found the manufacturers not culpable (responsible) for the injuries the product caused. Those instances were when the injured person was intoxicated or using the product in an entirely inappropriate manner.

Product liability is a generic term. It refers to an item made, sold, distributed manufactured, leased, rented, or in any other manner made available to the public and which by its nature is or can be dangerous to the public.

If you choose to pursue your claim you might first write a certified letter to the company whose name appears on the can. Explain to them what happened and submit to them a copy of your medical bills for the stitches and any out of pocket expenses like bandages and medications. Ask them to pay the bill. They may pay.

Be careful though. It is highly probable if you ask them for additional monies for pain and suffering or mental anguish they will not only decline to pay you for those additional requests, but will also probably decline to pay your medical bills and out of pocket expenses as well.

If you are not satisfied with the company’s response you always have the right to file a lawsuit against them in Small Claims Court. There you can ask the Judge to order the company to reimburse you for your medical bills and you may also ask the Judge to have them pay you for your mental anguish.

From the facts you present we are unable to tell in which state you reside. As a result we can’t tell you the maximum limit you can sue for in your state’s Small Claims Court. Each State sets its own maximum limits for Small Claims Court. You can usually go online to find out.

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: July 7, 2011

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