People are injured and even killed by unsafe products every day, causing tens of millions in losses and damage every year. Flawed manufacturing, faulty and/or poorly designed products, and packaging malfunctions, among others, contribute to lawsuits filed under the premises of product liability. According to the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law, product liability refers to the liability of any or all parties along the manufacturing chain of any product for damage caused by that product. This includes the manufacturer of component parts, which is at the top of the chain, or an assembling manufacturer, the wholesaler, and the retail store owner, which are at the bottom of the chain.
New Jersey has had many product liability lawsuits brought in its courts over time. More recently, Samantha Corrado, a New Jersey resident, has filed a product liability lawsuit against the popular beverage company, Arizona, the Whitlock Packaging Corporation (now owned by Refresco), and CVS. This stems from an August 22, 2016 incident in which Corrado found a deceased rodent at the bottom of her can of iced tea and suffered injuries and distress from the event.
Corrado had purchased the Arizona beverage at a local CVS and immediately placed the can in her refrigerator to chill. Once it got cold, she drank the entirety of the contents inside the can, taking note afterward that it seemed abnormally heavy for an empty can. Upon glancing inside, she was greeted with the sight of the rodent. Corrado suffered gastrointestinal, psychiatric, and psychological distress and injuries because of the traumatic event.
Aside from product liability, this case has been brought on other counts, such as negligence and gross negligence. Negligence can be defined as the failure to use reasonable care, resulting in damage or injury to another. Gross negligence is a conscious and voluntary disregard of the need to use reasonable care, which is likely to cause foreseeable, grave injury or harm to persons, property, or both.
It has been deemed that the rodent either entered the can in the facility where the beverage was produced or the facility where the beverage was packaged. Regardless of where the rodent was picked up, both facilities should have strict hygiene procedures in place and should be monitoring the facilities for signs of rodents or insects. Since the companies failed to implement these procedures, they may potentially be charged with negligence and/or gross negligence.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a defective product because of the negligence of another, you may be entitled to significant compensation. It is important to contact an experienced New Jersey personal injury and product liability attorney that will help and guide you through the process. The attorneys at the Rinaldo Law Group are skilled personal injury lawyers, who will fight for the compensation you and your family are entitled to receive. Please contact us today at 908-352-2500 to schedule a free initial consultation.