Defective – Unsafe Marine Product Negligence

An action for negligence of a defective or unsafe marine product is predicated upon the existence of a legal duty owed by the defendant to protect the plaintiff from an unreasonable risk of harm. Having graduated from as an marine engineer from a merchant marine academy, acquired three U.S. Coast Guard engineer licenses and previously represented yacht/boat manufacturers and repair facilities for 19 years, board certified maritime attorney Keith Brais with the law firm of Brais, Brais & Rusak is in a unique position to assist persons who suffer personal injury, death or property damage due to an accident or failure of a defect or unsafe marine product. The lawyers at the law firm of Brais, Brais & Rusak with offices in Miami, Florida, Boston, Massachusetts and Houston, Texas are here to help.

While the law regarding the scope of the duty owed has changed over the years, the rule that finally emerged is that a party is liable for negligence in the manufacture or sale of any product that may reasonably be expected to be capable of inflicting substantial harm if defective. Thus, the adoption of the “zone of danger” rule did away with any vestige of privity needed between the injured person and the manufacturer or seller of the dangerous product. Eligible defendants include manufactures, but also sellers or retailers with knowledge.

Negligence and strict liability are remedies that provide only tort damages, i.e., losses that are the result of the wrongdoer’s negligence or the defective part, respectively. These damages include: personal injury, wrongful death, diminished value of property, cost of repair or restoration, value of fixtures, personal property and loss of use in certain circumstances. Damages to the defective or dangerous product itself must be recovered under a breach of contract theory, the reasoning being that contracts provide for only “the benefit of the bargain”, i.e., the cost of the product or part itself. Put differently, a contract based claim only allows for the recovery of the 89 dollar part and not the 1.2 million dollar yacht into which the part was installed. This prohibition against the recovery of tort damages is generally known as the “economic loss rule.” Breach of warranty mixes the theories and allows for the recovery of both contract and tort damages depending upon the circumstances. If the breach of the sales contract causes physical harm or damage to property other than the product itself, tort damages are available. If the breach of warranty results in damage to the product itself, contract damages are available.

The attorneys at the law firm of Brais, Brais & Rusak have the experience to protect your rights, the compassion to serve your needs, and the skill to obtain the compensation you deserve. To reach our lawyers you may click email the firm, call 1-800-499-0551 from within the U.S., Skype BraisLaw worldwide or click Contact Us to select and complete a form for a free evaluation of your case.


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