Archives for November 2020
Can You Seek Damages for the Loss of a Loved One?
Residents in nursing homes and assisted-care facilities have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus, with approximately 40% (about 100,000) of the deaths nationally in that demographic. Reports have surfaced of nursing homes operating in the first months of the pandemic with little or no regard for social distancing, mask etiquette, or other public health safety recommendations. If you have a loved one who contracted the virus and died while in a nursing home in New Jersey, and you can show that the nursing home did not take appropriate safety precautions, can you file a wrongful death lawsuit to hold them accountable? Probably not.
In August, the New Jersey legislature passed, and Governor Phil Murphy signed, a bill granting broad immunity to nursing homes for claims arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic. The law does not prevent legal action but makes success difficult by providing immunity where nursing homes can show they “acted in good faith.” Under the statute, such nursing homes are absolved of both criminal and civil liability.
Critics acknowledge that many nursing homes acted in good faith but were hampered by limited access to necessary equipment, including respirators, masks, and sanitizer. They contend, however, that many nursing homes simply didn’t want to take the time or incur the expense of enacting appropriate safety measures.
Contact the Law Office of Howard D. Popper
For a free initial consultation to discuss your options after the wrongful death of a loved one, contact our office online or call 973-993-8787 to set up an appointment. We have offices in Morristown and Newton. Currently, all our client communications are by phone, text message, or videoconference.
We handle all wrongful death claims on a contingent-fee basis. You won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover damages for your losses.
The Element of a Defective Product Case
There’s a common misperception that because a product is on the shelves, adequate safety testing has been done to ensure that it doesn’t pose an unreasonable risk of injury to consumers. For a variety of reasons, that’s not always the case. If you have been hurt because of exposure to or while using a consumer product, you have the right to bring legal action to recover for your losses. Here’s what you’ll need to prove in court.
You Must Show You Were Injured or Suffered Some Kind of Loss
You don’t have a claim simply because a product was defective or posed a risk of injury. You must have sustained an actual injury or loss. For example, if the brakes on your car are defective, but you discover it before you turn on the car, there’s no injury. Likewise, if a product malfunctions and almost causes injury, you don’t have a claim.
You Must Show the Product Was Defective
There are three types of product defects: manufacturing defects, design defects, and marketing defects. A manufacturing defect relates to the fabrication, construction, assembly, or making of a product. A design defect refers only to the way a product is configured. Marketing defects usually involve a failure to provide adequate warnings on product packaging.
You Must Show the Product Defect Caused Your Injury or Loss
There are two types of cause that must be shown—actual cause and proximate cause. Actual cause requires you to show that, but for the defect, you would not have sustained an injury. Proximate cause requires that the consequences of the defect were reasonably foreseeable.
You Must Show You Were Using the Product As Intended
Using a product for a purpose, or in a way, other than as stated in the packaging, or reasonably expected, won’t necessarily prohibit you from recovering for injuries suffered. However, unless your nonconforming use of the product was “reasonably foreseeable” by the manufacturer, designer, or other responsible party, you’re unlikely to have a successful claim.
Contact the Law Office of Howard D. Popper
For a free initial consultation to discuss your options after the wrongful death of a loved one, contact our office online or call 973-993-8787 to set up an appointment. We have offices in Morristown and Newton. Currently, all our client communications are by phone, text message, or online videoconference.
We handle all product liability claims on a contingent-fee basis. You won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover damages for your losses.