In April of 2007, the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky heard a case where a woman was injured as a result of her pressure cooker blowing up. (See Honaker v. Innova, Inc. and HSN LP, 2007 WL 1217744 (W.D.Ky.)). In Honaker Ms. Honaker was injured when her pressure cooker exploded. Id. She sued and alleged that the pressure cooker was defective or unreasonably dangerous. Id.
Ms. Honaker’s personal injury attorney hired an expert who claimed “that the pressure cooker exploded due to a bent tab that was part of the mechanism that closed and locked the pressure cooker.” Id. “After considering the relevant Daubert factors, the Court excluded the expert.” Id.
Ms. Honaker’s Kentucky personal injury lawyer alleged product liability claims of a defective product and an unreasonably dangerous product. Id. To prevail, the Kentucky personal injury lawyer had to provide evidence that showed the pressure cooker “failed to perform as intended either because of the defendant’s negligence or because of an unreasonably dangerous condition.” Id. “It is the burden of the plaintiff to establish the defect.” Id.
“Expert testimony is almost always needed to meet the plaintiff’s burden in a products liability case. Expert witnesses are generally necessary, indeed essential, in products liability cases, as they are in medical malpractice actions, to prove such matters as a product defect and proximate causation, unless of course the nature of the defect and resultant injuries are so obvious as to fall within the general knowledge of the ordinary person. (cites omitted). Id.
The safety and engineering aspects of a pressure cooker is not within the knowledge of an ordinary person. Id. The expert that Ms. Honaker’s Kentucky personal injury lawyer hired did not have the specialized knowledge that the court deemed qualified. The expert hired could not establish the defect or causation related to the Plaintiff’s pressure cooker. The Court stated that “at trial, the jury would be left to speculate whether the product malfunctioned, whether the malfunction was caused by a defect, whether the product was operated correctly, whether it was properly maintained, or to theorize as to any other possibilities.” Id.
Thus, the Court granted the motion to dismiss and threw this Kentucky personal injury case out. That is why it is very important to hire a Kentucky personal injury lawyer right away after you are injured so that the Kentucky personal injury lawyer and his staff can investigate the case right away and hire the right expert and work the case up properly right from the beginning. As I have stated before, the first 24-48 hours of a Kentucky personal injury case are usually the most critical in these types of cases.
If you have been the subject of a Kentucky personal injury case, please call and speak to a Kentucky personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew Alitowski, P.A., at 888-ASK-ANDREW (888-275-2637) or contact us online. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you are injured…Ask Andrew!!!