The Statute of Limitations and More for Product Liability Claims in New York

Every state has its own set of product liability
rules that allow people who have been injured by dangerous or defective
products to seek damages from manufacturers.

New York’s laws prohibit sellers and manufacturers from putting these types of inherently dangerous or defective products on the market. If you are hurt by a dangerous product, you must ensure you file your claim within the state’s statute of limitations if you wish to proceed.

In New York, the clock begins ticking on the statute of limitations as soon as you either know or should have reasonably known a specific product caused your injury. This differs from other types of injury claims, in which the clock begins as soon as the injury occurs.

After you have suffered an injury, you have three years from learning of it and its cause to file the lawsuit. After this period has expired, you may no longer file a claim—outside a few rare exceptions.

Questions and answers about product liability

The following are a few answers to questions you may have about product liability claims in New York:

Q: What is the state’s legal definition of a defective product?

New York law states that a seller breaches an implied or express warranty if there is a reasonable expectation someone will consume, use or otherwise be affected by the product and that person is then injured when using the product. The seller does not need to know the product was defective to be liable for the accident and cannot exclude or limit implied or express warranty in any way.

Q: Who is liable in a product liability claim?

The answer to this depends on the defect in question. The manufacturer of the product could be liable, as could the seller of the product—such as a retailer or distributor. If the product was repaired or altered in a way that created the defect, the person or entity responsible for making those alterations could also be to blame.

Q: What do I need to prove to be successful in a product liability claim?

There are three basic elements you must prove. First, the product must have been defective or reasonably dangerous when used in its intended way. This could include negligent product design, manufacturing defects or improper warnings or instructions. Second, the defect must have existed when the product left the control of the manufacturer (if the manufacturer is to be held responsible). Finally, the defect must have been the direct cause of the injury or death.

For further information on the various state laws regarding product liability cases and how you can proceed with your lawsuit, speak with a dedicated New York personal injury lawyer at Robinson & Yablon, P.C.