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DEFENDANT’S Product Liability – Manufacturing Defect – Plaintiff maintains that 14th rung of ladder manufactured by the defendants fractures under him, causing him to fall to the ground below – Serious and permanent injuries claimed but not specified.

U.S.D.C. - District of New Jersey

In this product liability action the plaintiff maintained that he was using a ladder manufactured and sold by the defendant in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions when the 14th rung of the ladder broke causing the plaintiff to fall to the ground below. The defendant maintained that the incident occurred because the plaintiff failed to properly use the ladder.

On or about December 14, ________, the male plaintiff attempted to use a ladder at his home in Hillsborough, New Jersey, that was manufactured by the defendant. The plaintiff leaned the recently purchased ladder against the rear of his house after having properly opened and extended the ladder according to the manufacturer’s instructions. He climbed the ladder and stopped on the 14th rung and began cleaning out his gutter. While on the ladder, the plaintiff maintained that the ladder broke, or “fractured”, beneath his feet causing him to fall to the ground and sustain injuries. The plaintiff’s specific injuries were not listed in the complaint, but he alleged suffering permanent and serious injuries in the fall.

The plaintiff contended that the defendant negligently manufactured, distributed and sold a defective ladder. In addition, the plaintiff contended that the defendant failed to properly warn and advise of the proper use of the ladder and breached its warranty of general fitness of use. The defendants denied all allegations of negligence. First, they argued that the ladder did not contain any manufacturing defects or lack of warnings and instructions. Next, they argued that if the accident occurred as alleged by the plaintiff, it was due to misuse by the plaintiff and adverse weather conditions on the day of the accident.The jury found by a unanimous eight to zero count that the ladder did not contain a manufacturing defect and returned a defense verdict.

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