During the holiday season, candle use surges in New York households. There’s something especially festive about a flickering taper combined with the scent of vanilla, apple cider, gingerbread, and that perennial favorite, evergreen. No wonder stores like Bath and Body Works are filled to capacity throughout December!
Unfortunately, candle use has also led to tragedy. On December 26, 2018, a 16-year-old Queens girl died in a fire that was later determined to have been started by a burning candle. Some devices, like the Napa’s Fire Burners ceramic pots, were deemed to be so dangerous that they were taken off the market.
If you are seriously injured after suffering burn injuries involving a holiday candle, can you seek compensation for your medical bills, time spent off of work, and other losses? In some cases, yes, especially if the injuries were caused by a defective product.
If your injuries were due to careless behavior around a lit candle, such as falling asleep with it burning or placing it in an area where it could easily be knocked down by people or pets, then it can be difficult (if not impossible) to receive damages, although a New York personal injury attorney will give you the best advice for your situation.
A defective product is different. When a candle manufacturer fails in its responsibility to make a safe product available to the public and you are injured as a result, you may be able to seek compensation.
How to prove that a candle is defective
In general, there are three ways to prove that a manufactured product has a defect. They are as follows:
- There is a defect in the candle’s original design. You can prove this claim by showing that the designs of other candles don’t present a similar risk to consumers.
- A defect exists in the manufacturing process. To prove a product liability case based on defective manufacturing, you would have to show that the candle you bought was different and more dangerous than its intended design.
- The product was mislabeled. You could make a claim for a defect in product labeling if you can show that the candle manufacturer did not apply warning signs regarding the known dangers of using the product.
Product liability cases can be difficult to prove, and candle manufacturers will usually be reluctant to admit to any wrongdoing. Your best chance at winning the compensation you need is to meet with a New York personal injury attorney who can evaluate the strength of your claim and honestly advise you on whether you have a case. If you do, then their advice and representation can result in the award or settlement needed to cover your losses and rebuild.
Jayson Lutzky is a Bronx, NY accident and personal injury attorney with over 36 years of legal experience. You can reach his office at 718-329-9500. He offers free in-person initial consultations.