${site.data.firmName}${SEMFirmNameAlt}
Call For A Free Consultation With Local Attorneys
850-659-2252

PRODUCTS LIABILITY - COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE

comparative-negligence-1000-ffccccccWhite-3333-0.20.3-1.pngWithin the past three (3) years, the Florida Legislature amended the comparative negligence statute. Comparative negligence is a partial legal defense that reduces the amount of damages that a plaintiff can recover in a negligence-based claim. It is based upon the degree to which the plaintiff's own negligence contributed to cause the injury. Prior to 2011, manufacturers of defective products did not have the ability or had a limited ability to argue comparative negligence.

For our practical readers, if a jury were to assess comparative fault on to an injured victim, that fault would serve to reduce the victim's claim against the manufacturer. For example, assume that you were driving a vehicle and you took your eyes off the road (maybe to find that favorite XM station). In that split second, you veer off the road and hit a tree head on. Your air bag deploys, as it should, to prevent or minimize any injury. However, this time, instead of the air bag coming out by itself, a projectile, whether metal or plastic, is shot at 60-180 mph into your face. You sustain severe injuries to your head/face as a result of the projectile. It is later discovered that the air bag is defective and several recalls have been made regarding this defect.

BIG QUESTION: Should your acts (taking eyes off road) be used to diminish your damages against the vehicle's manufacturer?

The Florida Legislature seems to say that this is a satisfactory result. I contend that in some circumstances, it does not produce a fair result. Lets use the example above. Lets assume that a stray dog runs into your lane. It has no owner and runs off after the accident, yet you are forced off the road into the same tree. Again, the air bag causes you severe injuries. Your damages are the same. The same defect caused the injuries. But for the defective product, you would have not sustained severe injuries. In fact, had the product worked correctly, you could possibly walk away from the accident unharmed. This is mere arguendo, but you should see the conundrum created by this new law.

Do you think that the Legislature got it right?

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Father And Son Team Working Together To Serve Our Clients

Our legal team consists of attorney Wm. Dennis Brannon and his son C. Paul Brannon. We work together as a father and son team to provide our clients with exceptional service and solutions in motor vehicle accident claims and other personal injury matters.

Contact Us Today
Email Us For A Response

We Handle Cases on a Contingency Fee Basis Tell Us About Your Case - Free Consultations

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Fort Walton Beach
975 Mar Walt Drive
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547

Phone: 850-659-2252
Fax: 850-864-4526
Fort Walton Beach Law Office Map

Defuniak
544 US Highway 90 East
Defuniak Springs, FL 32433

Phone: 850-659-2252
Fax: 850-864-4526
Map & Directions

Crestview
204 North Main Street
Crestview, FL 32536

Phone: 850-659-2252
Phone: 850-398-8776
Fax: 850-864-4526
Crestview Law Office Map